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Fulton’s Broadway Bridge ‘Not Quite Ready Yet’

NYS DOT spokesman Gene Celento looks into the Texas railing form.

FULTON, NY – While travelers may think it looks like construction has stopped, the concrete poured for the north lanes of the Broadway Bridge that carries State Route 3 over the Oswego River is very busy curing below the deck surface so it will be several weeks before all lanes east and west will finally re-open.

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A view from north side of the Broadway Bridge, facing east.

NYS Department of Transportation spokesman Gene Cilento stopped by the Broadway Bridge project Thursday (July 10) afternoon to give Oswego County Today an update on the construction and talk about its anticipated completion time.

The bridge was closed to all traffic May 7 as about 700-800 cubic yards of concrete was trucked in to pour the north side deck.
The bridge was closed to all traffic the night of May 7 as about 700-800 cubic yards of concrete was trucked in to pour the north side deck.

“The reason why you don’t see a lot of activity is due to the deck pour,” he said. “The surface is firm but down below it’s not quite fully cured.”

The concrete pour for the new decking, about 1,500 cubic yards in all, is about 9 to 10 inches thick.

Sprinklers apply water to the new concrete to help prevent cracking.
Sprinklers apply water to the new concrete to help prevent cracking.

Currently sprinklers run the length of the deck span trickling water onto the new surface.

“The water is sprayed on the bridge  to resist cracking,” Cilento said. “If the concrete dries too quickly it could crack.”

National Grid trucks travel westbound in the south lanes as the north lanes remain closed.
All traffic currently travels in the south lanes.

The DOT spokesman noted that the project has been ‘staged’ due to the constant use of the bridge throughout its reconstruction. “The construction would have gone a whole lot faster if we didn’t have to maintain a traffic flow. It probably could have been done in one full year,” he said.

Although the delay of the project’s onset caused construction to carry-over an extra winter, Cilento said there is every indication the bridge will reopen before this construction season ends.

Prior to starting the $12.2 million state reconstruction project, it was estimated that more than 13,000 cars a day go through the State Route 3 and State Route 48 intersection on the west side of the river, and more than 21,000 cars a day drive along Route 3 at the State Route 481 intersection on the east side.

Cement crews work the concrete the night of the big pour.
Cement crews work the concrete the night of the big pour.

When the plan was introduced in September 2010, it was anticipated the bridge rehabilitation would take two construction seasons to complete.

Work was originally slated to begin in the spring of 2012, to be completed before the end of 2013 but did not begin until late summer 2012 causing a full season delay in anticipated completion.

NYS DOT spokesman Gene Celento looks into the Texas railing form.
NYS DOT spokesman Gene Celento looks into the Texas railing form.

“This wasn’t a bridge replacement,” Cilento noted. “It was a major rehabilitation. Some of the steel down below is new, not all of it. The concrete piers in the river have been resurfaced, refaced, … new deck, new rail, new sidewalk, curb. But it’s not a full replacement.”

Right now upright green concrete reinforcement bar cages encased in plywood forms can be seen in place along the northern length of the new concrete deck.

Tucked into the forms are Styrofoam and wood spacers that will be removed after the concrete is poured giving the decorative Texas railing its shape and character.

The temporary sidewalk outside the south side of the Broadway Bridge over Oswego Canal Lock 2 and the Oswego River.
The temporary sidewalk outside the south side of the Broadway Bridge over Oswego Canal Lock 2 and the Oswego River.

Once that concrete is poured the light poles will be installed, like the ones already in place on the south side, then there is a 30 day cure time.

“Certainly by fall it will be open,” Cilento said. “One of the last things the contractor will do is pave the approaches at the east and west ends of the new surface … then the bridge gets opened.”

The final phase of the project involves creating the sidewalk on the south side of the bridge but that will be done once the north side lanes are reopened.

Right now pedestrians are using a temporary walkway that is completely outside the south side’s new construction that will be removed when the project is finished.

“It’s not far from completion,” Cilento said. “It’s not quite ready yet.”

The completed Texas railing on the south side of the bridge.
The completed Texas railing on the south side of the bridge.

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2 Comments

  1. The side that’s open is bumpier than the surface was before replacement. Will the other side be the same or are they going to smooth it out does anyone know? When they get to the Oneida bridge they need to contact the company that did the bridges in Oswego, done in a season and smooth as can be.

  2. I believe that we should be thankful that the state saw fit to keep the Broadway bridge open to traffic while trying to replace it. The bumpiness is due to grooving for run-off, I believe, so that no standing water accumulates and creates problems. The Broadway bridge is beautiful in it’s own. I read somewhere that the Oneida Street bridge is a city bridge and thus is the responsibility of Fulton to replace/repair, I believe the City Council meeting would be the place to address the Oneida street bridge.

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