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Officials celebrate opening of Waterport bridge on Route 279

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 November 2014 at 12:00 am

County plans work on 6 more bridges next 3 years

Photos by Tom Rivers

WATERPORT – Pictured in a ribbon cutting this morning for the reopening of the Waterport Bridge on Route 279 include, from left: Kathy Blackburn, executive director of Orleans County Chamber of Commerce; Gayle Ashbery, Carlton town supervisor; Jackie Tarricone, secretary to county highway superintendent; County Legislator Ken DeRoller; Legislature Chairman David Callard, County Legislator Bill Eick, Highway Superintendent Jerry Gray (with scissors); Legislator John DeFillipps; Legislator Fred Miller; John Papponetti, project manager for LaBella Associates; Chris Bayer, structural engineer with LaBella; Scott Scharping, chief engineer and project manager for Keeler Construction; Tom Keeler, vice president at Keeler Construction; Lucinda Mayer, resident engineer for LaBella; and Tracy Sheffer, project supervisor for Keeler.

The bridge was closed for five months while it received $1.5 million in upgrades, including new railings, repairs to concrete piers, a new deck, asphalt top, two new fascia beams and drainage improvements.

With proper maintenance, the bridge should last another 50 years, said John Papponetti, project manager for Labella Associates, a Rochester engineering firm.

The bridge is the longest county-owned span at 700 feet, crossing Lake Alice and the Oak Orchard River.

“It was inconvenient while it was closed,” said Gayle Ashbery, Carlton town supervisor. “We’re glad it’s back open.”

David Callard (center), chairman of the Orleans County Legislature, praised county employees, Labella Associates and Keeler Construction for their efforts with the project.

The federal government paid 80 percent of the costs, with the state contributing 15 percent and the county the remaining 5 percent. The county opened another bridge last week on Hulberton Road after a new bridge was completed. Federal and state funds paid 95 percent of that project’s cost.

Those state and federal dollars for bridges will be hard to come by for rural counties in the next few years.

The county has opted to borrow $8 million for capital projects, including about $5 million to repair or replace six bridges, with two being tackled annually from 2015 to 2017. The two targeted next year include a bridge from 1934 over Beardsley Creek on Waterport-Carlton Road in Carlton, and a bridge from 1968 in Barre over Manning Muckland Creek on Oak Orchard Road.

“We’re continue with our efforts,” Callard said during a ribbon-cutting ceremony today.

Other bridges identified for improvements include a 1959 bridge in Kendall on Carton Road over Sandy Creek, a bridge from 1936 in Ridgeway over Fish Creek on East Scott Road, one from 1928 in Ridgeway over Fish Creek on Culvert Road, and a bridge from 1956 in Kendall over Sandy Creek on Norway Road.