Location Of New Brownville Bridge Is Announced

Location Of New Brownville Bridge Is Announced

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We now know what will replace the Brownville bridge over the Black River.

The Watertown Jefferson County Area Transportation Council announced Thursday that it has accepted the final recommendation for the new bridge location.

"The bridge has been around for a long time, it's lived its life," state Department of Transportation spokesman Michael Flick said. "It's still safe, otherwise it wouldn't be in service, but it's time to replace it. " 

For more than 60 years the bridge cut through the center of the village of Brownville to connect State Route 12E to 12F. 

But come Spring 2023, construction for a new bridge will start on the western end of the village.  

If you look at the photo, the bridge will go where you see the letter A.

"The new site will be modern standard,  new bridge, wider highway, wider shoulders," Flick said. "It will function so much more effectively and efficiently  than the old one."

Late last year, seven possible sites were narrowed down to three. After public and expert input, Alternative A was chosen. 

Flick says this option rose to the top since other bridge designs would have been close to schools and businesses

"Those get tough, trying to fit things in trying to make people happy," he said. This moving outside the village alleviates some of those issues. It give the village a little bit of room to grow if necessary."

Flick says the project will cost $8 million. This includes building the new bridge, a three-quarter-mile highway, and removing the old bridge. 

Federal funding will help pay for most it. The rest will be paid for by the state.

Flick says there is a lot of work to do, like acquiring land and creating a design for the highway. Bidding will be in December 2022.

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