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Twin Bridges work finished

Project ends before motorists hit road for holiday weekend

Tuesday, May 21, 2013
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The Twin Bridges on Monday, May 20, 2013. Governor Cuomo has announced that the $29 million project to replace the bridge decks has been completed in time for Memorial Day weekend travel.
Photographer: Patrick Dodson
The Twin Bridges on Monday, May 20, 2013. Governor Cuomo has announced that the $29 million project to replace the bridge decks has been completed in time for Memorial Day weekend travel.

— Weekend work on the Northway’s Twin Bridges has been completed, just ahead of Memorial Day travel weekend, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday.

That means travelers — and commuters — will have nice new decks to drive on as they cross the bridge that spans the Mohawk River and connects the towns of Halfmoon and Colonie.

But, while that potential worry is out of the way, travelers this weekend will have plenty of other things to watch for as they hit the road.

Among those will be extra patrols from many police agencies, including the state police. Among the state police’s efforts is an extended Buckle Up NY education and enforcement campaign promoting seat belt usage. The campaign began Monday and is to run through June 2.

Many agencies will also be out in force looking for drunken drivers.

According to state police Sgt. Paul Swasey, travelers can help themselves and others this weekend by simply driving safely.

“Basically, if people drive alert and within the speed limit, they’re more apt to be safe,” Swasey said. “That helps reduce the number of accidents and traffic delays.”

As far as traffic delays, the state Department of Transportation directs travelers to 511NY.org and a smart phone app, each providing travelers with up-to-date travel information for New York roads.

Information on each is updated around the clock, including planned road work and accidents causing delays. The mobile app is under 511NY.

Nationwide, an estimated 35.1 million people will hit the roads, air or rails for Memorial Day weekend, according to AAA. Eric Stigberg, spokesman for AAA Northway, said he expected to see a slight increase in the number of people traveling by car.

Stigberg recommended taking extra time and planning ahead. Drivers should also stay alert. If you’re drowsy, pull over, Stigberg said.

He said AAA also has its own mapping software that gives updates on construction nationwide. One area where there won’t be construction is on the Northway’s Twin Bridges.

“That’ll make it a lot easier for folks traveling that way for Memorial Day,” Stigberg said Monday. “While it probably was a headache for folks in the short term, in the longer term, the safety impact makes it all worth it.”

Crews have been working on the bridges since last year, putting down a new deck and making other upgrades on the northbound bridge first, then the southbound bridge starting last month.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office announced the completion of the work Monday. Work was done on weekends to limit its impact on commuters. In all, the work on both bridges cost the state $29 million. Each day, the Twin Bridges carry an estimated 100,000 vehicles.

State Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald called the bridges crucial to the area economy and a vital commuting and tourism corridor.

 
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