2013-09-19 / Front Page

I-84 Westbound Reopens

Traffic heavy, but nightmare never materializes
Eric Gross

Forecasts that traffic throughout eastern Putnam County would become a nightmare when Interstate 84 was closed for bridge replacement work in Southeast never materialized.

While traffic throughout eastern sections of Brewster was heavier than normal Saturday and Sunday, no major back-ups were reported in Putnam County.

On Saturday afternoon, the interstate was closed at 4 p.m. and despite rains throughout the night, DOT and contracting crews removed the old Dingle Ridge Road Bridge and replaced it with a new span that was slid into place early Sunday morning.

Crews pave Route 84 about a mile from the NY-Connecticut line early Sunday morning after a new bridge is slid into place over Dingle Ridge Road in Southeast. Photo/Eric GrossCrews pave Route 84 about a mile from the NY-Connecticut line early Sunday morning after a new bridge is slid into place over Dingle Ridge Road in Southeast. Photo/Eric Gross

One hundred workers toiled throughout the night and shifted the 80 foot long bridge into place from a giant sliding track.

At dawn Sunday one dozen tractor trailer rigs filled with asphalt spread the hot substance onto the roadbed and enormous rollers put the finishing touches on the project allowing the interstate to reopen by 2:30 p.m.

Project engineer Nick Choubah told the Courier Sunday: “We are all thrilled since a new bridge has been constructed in less than 24 hours. This is new technology for not only Putnam County but for our state and country. The Brewster bridge is revolutionary.”

Choubah said by “sliding” the bridge into place, the state  saved its taxpayers $2 million while reducing the construction time by more than one year.

By using traditional bridge replacement methods, the old bridge is demolished after a temporary bridge is built for motorists with the permanent budge then constructed. With the new technique, the new bridge is built next to the old bridge which is demolished when the new bridge is ready to be moved into place. For this to happen, the highway was forced to be closed.

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“What is written is written and the finger of time having writ moves on.” ~The Cold Spring Recorder, Dec. 10, 1937