Updated 01/22/2013 06:43 PM
Bids opened in multi-million dollar Newburgh-Beacon Bridge project
The Newburgh-Beacon Bridge is months away from a facelift. A section of the span is set to be replaced. YNN's Elaina Athans has the latest on the multi-million dollar project and how it will impact your daily commute.
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HIGHLAND, N.Y. -- Bids opened in the single largest project in the New York State Bridge Authority’s 80 year history.
"This is a a very critical link for Upstate New York," said New York State Bridge Authority Executive Director Joseph Ruggerio.
The state will be replacing the south span of the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge and a room full of hopeful contractors are eager to do the work. Ten bids were submitted ranging from $93 to $116 million. A recent Bridge Authority toll increase will help pay for construction.
"Its life cycle has been exhausted," said Ruggerio. "A bridge deck takes the most wear and tear from traffic, with all the travelers and tractor travelers."
More than 25 million vehicles cross over the Newburgh-Beacon every year. It is the most traveled corridor under the Bridge Authority's umbrella.
Work on the south span's replacement is expected to start at the end of March or beginning of April.
"It’ll be done at night. It’ll be done in phases and it’s over a three year period, so it’ll cause the less amount of disruption to the traveling public," said Ruggerio.
There will be times though, as traffic will be reduced to one lane. The construction job should take three years and generate up to 300 off shoot jobs.
"We're going to put a lot of local people to work for many years," said Ruggerio.
But these jobs won't be created and project won't start until the Bridge Authority selects a winner. The agency will take the next week or so to vet the ten bids and make a pick.