WATERTOWN — Motorists could be driving on the new $8.3 million Arsenal Street bridge by the middle of December.
Region 7 Public Information Officer Michael R. Flick said Friday he expects the new bridge will be finished by the end of the year, but if the weather cooperates, it could be sooner.
“We’re close,” he said, before snowy weather began this week.
Last week, construction crews from the general contractor, Economy Paving Co., Cortland, poured the concrete for the approach slabs on both ends of the four-lane bridge that spans over the CSX railroad line.
This week, they’re working on pouring concrete for the rails that will be similar to railing along the Mill Street bridge, he said. Decorative light poles also must still be installed.
The project is on schedule and within budget, Mr. Flick said.
“If it wasn’t, I’d hear about it,” he said.
For months, motorists have been driving on a four-lane temporary bridge, which will be taken down just as soon as the new one is done, according to Mr. Flick.
When the project was announced in 2016, City Council members expressed concerns that traffic congestion would worsen during the work.
City officials haven’t heard of any complaints about the new traffic pattern created by the temporary bridge.
DOT officials determined the project is needed because the Arsenal Street bridge was “deficient” in several areas, including the surface and bridge deck, joints, bearings, paint, pedestals, sidewalks and piers.
The bridge carries 22,375 vehicles a day. It also carries Arsenal Street over Sand and Exchange streets.
The federal government is paying 80 percent of the project’s cost, with the remaining amount coming from the state. Once completed, the bridge is expected to last 75 years.
Meanwhile, two other bridge projects were recently completed.
Work on the Mill Street and Pearl Street bridges that span the Black River were finished in recent weeks.
The city received more than $1.7 million in state funding from the BRIDGE NY program, which Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo introduced in 2017, to pay for work on those two bridges.
Luck Brothers, Plattsburgh, was the general contractor on the project.