Posted at: 11/15/2013 5:16 PM
Updated at: 11/16/2013 12:11 AM
By: Jessica Riley
On Average, 4,700 vehicles cross the bridge every day.
First opening before the turn of the twentieth century, the Spring Avenue Bridge has long led travelers from the urban streets of Troy into the rural countryside of eastern Rensselaer County.
Through the years, northeastern winters and heavily salted roads have had a toll on the steel structure.
"This bridge can not take every day traffic loads," said Russ Reeves, the Troy city engineer, "It can not handle truck traffic and vehicular traffic that it would be subjected to."
During a state inspection of the bridge in September, 2011, underlying corrosion was pervasive -- in some places more than 90% --steel girders were cracked, and stringers were badly deteriorated.
Repair had been scheduled for the spring of 2014 but after engineers noticed quickly worsening conditions this week, the shut down became immediate.
"Safety is number one," asserted Mayor Lou Rosamilia, "We felt as though the restrictions placed on this bridge are limiting that it was unsafe for public use."
City officials estimate delays for emergency vehicles in that part of the city might be up to two minutes.
Danielle Douaihy, whose family owns a used car dealership at the corner of Spring and Canal, says she's concerned about the bridge closure might do to their business.
"It's upsetting but there's nothing we could do about it," she says, "We (depend) on a lot of the traffic to make our business and we have to buy more advertised so that customers know we're still here."
The city promised Douaihy they pave a new ramp onto her property and post signage to alert people that the business is still open.
The shut down is expected to last about one year and the cost is estimated at $3 million, although Mayor Rosamilia says the city only has to pick up 5% of that cost.