The state Department of Transportation has removed six flags — two red and four yellow — from the South Ann Street bridge.
Little Falls Mayor Robert Peters said during Monday evening’s meeting of the Board of Public Works the flags were removed as a result of the city’s action to remove and repair the structural deficiencies that caused the DOT to issue the notices.
The city-owned bridge, which spans the Mohawk River and is the primary vehicle and pedestrian route from downtown to Loomis and Moss islands, opened last month after the completion of a $1.4 million replacement project that began in August 2012.
The new 20-ton bridge was designed by Albany-based WSP SELLS and constructed by Glenmont-based New Century Construction. It uses a four-beam design, compared to the outdated two-girder design of the old bridge.
The new bridge also provides an additional four-and-a-half feet of clearance, which will prevent rising water from damaging the bridge and the utility lines it carries.
Board of Public Works Clerk Mary Ellen Krisch said since the bridge opened to traffic in January, the ornamental railings have been installed.
“All that remains is the paving of the bridge’s entrance and exit, but that won’t be completed until the asphalt plants open in the spring,” she said Monday evening. “We knew that was something we would have to wait for, so it’s not a surprise.”
“It really looks nice down there,” said Second Ward Alderman David Burleson. “They did a great job on the bridge. The city should be proud of it.”
A ribbon-cutting ceremony may be scheduled in the spring.
Built in 1933, the South Ann Street bridge was considered to be functionally obsolete and structurally deficient. Red flags indicate deficiencies in primary structural components and generally require immediate attention. Yellow flags involve less critical issues — but conditions that are likely to deteriorate significantly if not addressed promptly.
In other business Monday evening, water treatment plant operator Dan Bennett asked the board to consider budgeting moneys for an engineering assessment of Little Falls Reservoir Dam, Little Falls District Reservoir Dam and Spruce Lake Dam.
“The city has until August 2015 to have the assessment completed, but this is not something we should wait until the deadline to have done,” he said. “The earlier we get to work on it, the more time the engineer will have to respond to the state’s comments. This is a state-mandated assessment, so it is something that has to be completed.”
A professional engineering services agreement from Cazenovia-based CHD Consulting Engineers states the firm will complete the work for a lump sum fee of $33,200.
Mayor Peters asked the board to consider budgeting $25,000 for the cleanup of the former row houses on Garden Street. He said of 16 samples taken at the site recently, one confirmed the presence of asbestos. As a result, he said the city would have to contract with a certified asbestos removal firm to have the material removed from the site.
Page 2 of 2 - Board of Public Works consultant Jim Palmer added the city has been working with the state Department of Labor in Utica and Albany on the issue.