St. Lawrence County deals with a number of closed bridges

WWNY St. Lawrence County deals with a number of closed bridges

ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY, N.Y. (WWNY) - It’s a banner year for bridge closures in St. Lawrence County with a new closure near Norfolk. There’s hope some will be repaired and reopened, but others - not so sure.

A lot of ‘bridge closed’ signs are going up in St. Lawrence County. Once in a while, a bridge is closed for good. But more often, it’s to undertake big repairs and improvements.

“It’s years of planning and preparation for these projects,” said Donald Chambers, St. Lawrence County Highways superintendent:

The Route 8 bridge in Rossie is getting a remake. Five bridges in all are getting major rehabs. But three have been closed with no date certain for replacement or improvement.

“Unfortunately at this point we have some structures that are aging out,” said Chambers.

On August 3, state inspectors declared Helena’s Depot Street bridge unsafe. Nearby, Route 53 is closed for culvert repair. A nearby business is paying the price.

“It made me into a dead-end street. … Our business has been cut by two-thirds. … I feel like we can’t win,” said Sharlene Lantry, Helena General Store owner.

Lantry knew the Depot Street bridge was touch and go. Still, she wishes town, county and state could better coordinate projects. The county hopes to get federal funding to replace it.

A number of closed bridges in the county have a rich history. That’s true of the Yaleville Road bridge over the Raquette River.

State inspectors closed it down Friday when they found it unsafe. It’s a historic bridge of unique design built in 1892.

“It’s served well. It’s been in service over 100 years. It’s done a great job,” said Chambers.

The bridge will probably remain closed. Even restoration wouldn’t get it up to modern standards. But there are thoughts to keeping it in place as a historic structure.

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