New Church Street bridge coming

New Church Street bridge coming
The Church Street bridge heading northbound.

Delayed last year because of “utility conflicts and design considerations,” Granville residents can be excited about the replacement of the Church Street bridge this year.

“I believe the total cost is somewhere around $4.5 million to replace the bridge,” said Granville town supervisor Matt Hicks.

Hicks said most of the payment for the replacement of the Granville staple is coming from the federal government, 80% in fact, with 15% coming from New York State, pending on the funding it receives, and 5% coming from Washington County.

This is a part of the Transportation Infrastructure Program (TIPS) list for projects that need repairs or complete replacements.

“It’s all been approved but until you get the final letter from the feds… we’re kind of stuck out on a limb,” Hicks said in a Feb. 27, 2020 Sentinel article, “New bridge delayed one year.”

Washington County Public Works superintendent Deborah Donohue was contacted to provide some key updates on the situation.

“We are very excited about the Church Street project! It is currently in the bidding process with an opening date of Friday, Feb. 26. The project is indeed estimated to be around $4 million,” Donohue said.

“Project is a go for early spring and some utility work has started. Several temporary utility poles have been placed. NYSEG is providing power around the bridge from existing infrastructure that came from East Main Street, as well as a temporary hookup for Mr. Dwayne Daigle. This work is completed. Communications utilities have placed a pole to bypass the bridge to the west, this changeover is happening now; residents should be hearing from their communications providers about a one-night overnight outage in the future weeks.”

Hicks noted the Church Street bridge was inspected close to six years ago and deemed “deficient,” gaining a yellow flag to serve as caution when travelling over and across.

Much-needed repairs to sustain the life out of the bridge occurred in 2015 “so it could be open and usable.”

“They rehabbed it to get another 10 years out of it… so they put a pretty big Band Aid on it,” Hicks said.

The renovation project would ideally take six to eight weeks to complete, with Tim Zinn representing the county as project manager.

“The Church Street bridge, which supports 3,000 vehicles a day, will be replaced with a precast concrete arch manufactured offsite and will have a minimum life expectancy of 75 years. Much of the bridge will appear the same except there will be a sidewalk only on the west side of the roadway,” the Sentinel story last year said.

Before the bridge can be replaced, Hicks said a structure that was purchased by Washington County at 34 Church Street will need to be demolished. The building is partially laid on top of the foundation of the bridge.

“They’re (construction workers) going to need to tear that building down in order to do work on the bridge,” Hicks said.

Donohue added her perspective in agreement with Hicks’ statement.

“The structure is actually tied into the abutment of the old structure and will need to come down to provide access to construct the new structure,” she said.

Donohue chimed in with what Granville residents should expect once construction is complete, including a new dry hydrant and widening the dynamic of the bridge.

“The importance to the residents of Granville can be seen on several levels. As the structure’s span increases, it will help the water flow more freely in large flooding events similar to the 2011 tropical storm.

“The sidewalk on the west side of the bridge will be increased to standard width; this combined with on-bridge lighting and pavement markings will increase pedestrian safety,” Donohue said. “Additionally, the roadway will be standard 10-foot lanes with defined shoulders, which will lessen the bottlenecking effect of the bridge.

“Although it is always bittersweet having to remove buildings, the removal of the structure at 34 Church street will provide direct views from the road to the river.”

Hicks added the reconstruction of the Church Street bridge would join the list with the Truthville, Indian River and Main Street bridges to be replaced in Granville in the last 20 years. He said it ranks of high priority to the everyday commute of Granville residents.

“Well, certainly from a transportation standpoint it is,” Hicks said.

Donohue went on to mention that the county will be publishing the construction process on their website for the public to see.

“Residents will be able to watch the construction live on our website and the functionally obsolete structure will be updated and likely last for the lifetime of nearly all local residents.”