Bid accepted to repair bridge approach

More than $19 million worth of work is planned on the approach to the Ogdensburg Prescott International Bridge. Christopher Lenney/Watertown Daily Times

OGDENSBURG — A $19.1 million bid has been accepted by the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority to do major work on the U.S. approach to the Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge.

The bid, from Piasecki Steel Construction of Castleton, was one of only two bids on the project.

The high bid, of more than $27 million, came from Abhe & Svoboda of Jordan, Minn..

The acceptance of the bid is contingent on it being approved by New York state, Steve Lawrence, the interim director of the OBPA, said Thursday.

It is also contingent on securing the $1.8 million the Authority is short on its budget for the project.

“Because it is such a critical project, New York state is working in earnest to find the money,” Mr. Lawrence said.

The rehabilitation of the approach will be extensive.

“There will be some deck replacement and floor beam repairs,” Mr. Lawrence said. “After that is completed the entire approach will be painted. Right now everything is spot painted by our crews.”

Work could begin as soon as July, Mr. Lawrence said and is not expected to be completed until December of 2021.

The money for the project is coming from the New York State Department of Transportation.

Keeping up with bridge maintenance has been an ongoing struggle for the Authority.

In 2018 it was estimated that there were more than $130 million worth of repairs needed over the entire span.

Since it opened in 1960, the structure has never been completely repainted, although spot painting and millions of dollars in structural work has taken place.

In engineering and safety reports conducted in 2012, 2014 and 2016, it was noted that corrosion holes were noticeable and that the bridge’s painted surface was in poor condition and worsening. In all three inspections, the bridge was still listed as safe and being in “satisfactory to good condition,” although Yellow Structural Flags were nonetheless handed out in each of those years.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

St. Lawrence/Franklin County Editor

Slowly self-propelled. Two-time cancer survivor. Nearly 30-year newspaper veteran.

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