Ten months in the making, Little Falls residents and business owners celebrated the completion of the South Ann Street Bridge project Friday evening.
“The city had been waiting for this replacement project for years and now it’s finally over,” Mayor Robert Peters said at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the $1,523,479.43 project. “The historic Canal Place district is an important part of the city’s heritage, and with this new bridge in place Canal Place is once again open for business.”
Built in 1933, the city-owned bridge had been flagged by the state Department of Transportation and was considered to be functionally obsolete and structurally deficient.
“The bridge had been flagged repeatedly since 1999. Any flooding event had the potential to sever all the utility lines on the underside of the span,” said Peters.
The mayor said the city began requesting funding for a new structure in 2009.
“Federal and state officials, the state DOT, the Herkimer-Oneida Transportation Study, Herkimer County, the state Canal Corporation — the city requested assistance from everyone,” said Peters. “The continuing deterioration of the bridge left the city no alternative. The Common Council had to approve a replacement project.”
The city received $250,000 in assistance from National Grid, $36,807 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for damages attributed to a flooding event in 2011 and $6,134.50 from the state Office of Emergency Management for the same 2011 incident.
The total reimbursement to the city for the project was $292,941.50.
“National Grid operates two major natural gas lines directly on the bridge, and if these line should become inoperable, gas service to all of Little Falls would be interrupted,” said Peters. “A sewer line and water line are also under the bridge.”
Project costs included $1,488,400 for construction, $175,817.16 for engineering, $69,250 for construction inspection and support, $68,703.77 for field change items and $14,250 for supplemental support. Project manager David Weiss of Briarcliff Manor-based WSP-SELLS provided the design services and construction inspection and support, and the general construction for the project was by New Century Construction of Watervliet.
“The community shared in the challenges associated with the project and now they should share in the success,” said Peters as he thanked the city’s Common Council and Board of Public Works for their involvement in the project. “I thank them for their support, and I also thank the business owners and residents for the support and patience.”
Construction began on July 23, 2012, and was completed May 3.
The bridge spans the Mohawk River and is the primary vehicle and pedestrian route from downtown to Loomis and Moss islands.