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North country to see millions for bridge, culvert repairs

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Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties are set to receive more than $20 million in bridge repair and replacement funding, Gov. Kathleen C. Hochul said Wednesday.

It’s part of a $516 million bridge repair package funded in this year’s budget that the governor is now able to distribute to more than 141 local governments and 216 bridge repair projects statewide. The north country is set to receive $36.5 million, with slightly more than half of that coming to the western three counties.

Part of the BRIDGE NY initiative, the money is billed as a boost for local resiliency to impacts of climate change, which include more severe weather and more strain on water-based infrastructure like culverts and bridges.

“New York state is making historic investments to modernize our infrastructure and we are committed to working with our partners in local government to help ensure their bridges and culverts and ready to meet the challenges of global climate change,” Hochul said in a statement.

That’s got the support of Sen. Mark C. Walczyk, R-Watertown, who lauded the investments.

“Assisting local government in strengthening and protecting critical infrastructure such as bridges and culverts is vital for the state of New York,” he said. “I’m glad to see the continued investment in our communities.”

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Road construction hits high gear in Watertown

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City Manager Kenneth A. Mix says there hasn’t been this much road construction going on in the city in decades.

The $3.9 million streetscape project, $8.3 million in construction of the Court Street Bridge, and milling and paving on Academy, High and Mill streets are just some of the major projects underway.

And then there’s a half dozen or so water main projects and the run of the mill annual paving getting done.

“This is the most that I can ever remember,” Mr. Mix said.

Earlier this week, drivers were disrupted by the closing of the Court Street bridge on Tuesday and rerouted to Vanduzee Street.

One lane had been closed since the work began this spring. Vehicles were able to get back through the next day.

The project will continue on replacing the deck. The bridge’s other lane must still be done, said Thomas M. Maurer, an engineer in the city engineering office.

Luck Brothers, Plattsburgh, the general contractor on the project, is expected to finish the bridge work by the end of the year.

Sure, all the construction around the city might be a headache for motorists, but some of the projects have been planned for years, Mr. Mix said.

For several weeks, Pratt Street was ripped up a bit for a water main project, Mr. Mix drove on the street a few days ago and noticed the road has been repaved.

“It got done,” he said.

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