Sparse traffic crosses the Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge last year. Christopher Lenney/Watertown Daily Times

OGDENSBURG — Beginning next month, the Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge will close overnight Sunday through Thursday for bridge repairs.

The bridge will be closed from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday through Thursday beginning Sunday, June 6, and extend through October of this year. The Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority said motorists should seek alternate routes during the closure hours.

There will be no overnight closures on Canada Day, Thursday, July 1; Independence Day, Monday, July 5; Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 6; and Thanksgiving Day (Canada) and Columbus Day (United States), Monday, Oct. 10. These dates are construction holidays.

OBPA Executive Director Steven J. Lawrence said the closure is due to a two-year bridge rehabilitation project which began in July of last year.

The first part of the more than $19 million project has been completed, which included spans one through eight of the bridge. Mr. Lawrence said that part of the project included painting the bridge.

The bridge closure is necessary for the second part of the project, which includes spans nine through 14. Mr. Lawrence said the bridge decking for those bridge spans needs to be replaced, and whole panels have to be taken out, making it impossible to go down to a single lane of traffic.

He said this next part of the project may be completed before October, but said the authority announced the closure through October to allow themselves leeway with the project.

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

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 have 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,” but yellow structural flags were handed out in each of those years.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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