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Rosalie Fontana of Bloomingdale voices her thoughts to DEC Forester Sean Reynolds, who was taking notes at the Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor meeting at the DEC office in Ray Brook. Photo: Mark Kurtz
Rosalie Fontana of Bloomingdale voices her thoughts to DEC Forester Sean Reynolds, who was taking notes at the Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor meeting at the DEC office in Ray Brook. Photo: Mark Kurtz

One fiercely disputed Adirondack rail line, two cool visions

For more than thirty years, most of the historic rail line between Old Forge and Lake Placid has seen little use. A tourism train operates on two different stretches of track, around Old Forge and Saranac Lake.

But despite a state plan that calls for the entire 119-mile route to reopen, much of the line has fallen into disrepair. Now state officials are asking new questions about how the train corridor should be used. They've begun a series of meetings to gather input and to try to channel a public debate that has grown increasingly rancorous.

There are now two starkly different visions for the rail corridor. Train boosters are calling for the state to invest millions of dollars refurbishing the tracks, while supporters of a new mult-iuse trail say the tracks should be torn up.  Go to full article
A state Department of Transportation worker drives a loader while making repairs to the area along state Route 73 in downtown Keene on Sept. 5, 2011. Photo, Lou Reuter, Adirondack Daily Enterprise<br />
A state Department of Transportation worker drives a loader while making repairs to the area along state Route 73 in downtown Keene on Sept. 5, 2011. Photo, Lou Reuter, Adirondack Daily Enterprise

A year later, those involved say Irene response remarkable

When Tropical Storm Irene hit the Adirondacks one year ago, state transportation crews and private contractors worked around the clock for nearly two weeks to repair damaged roads and washed out bridges in hard hit areas like Keene, Jay and AuSable Forks. All of those involved say the response to the disaster was unprecedented.  Go to full article

Funds some hoped would be used for new rooftop highway will instead go to Route 11 improvements

Proponents of a new rooftop highway in the state are angry after an announcement by the state Department of Transportation this week that the agency will use $6.3 million in federal money earmarked as part of the 2005 federal highway bill for improvements along Route 11. The I-98 supporters thought the money was supposed to be used for planning studies for the new highway. But the DOT says the language in the legislation allows the money to be used for Route 11 instead. Joanna Richards reports.  Go to full article
We really have to look harder than we have in the past at where we're gonna spend our money.

Bridge closure tells of "new normal" for region's infrastructure

A bridge in the town of Wilna, east of Watertown in Jefferson County, was closed recently after a regular state inspection showed it was no longer safe for motorists. The bridge didn't get much traffic - fewer than 100 cars a day, according to the state Department of Transportation - but residents of the area will now have to get used to a five-mile detour. And, transportation officials said, closures like this one will likely be more common as the federal government reins in its budget for repairs. Joanna Richards has the story.  Go to full article
The arch as of 3:30pm Friday. Photo: DOT webcam.
The arch as of 3:30pm Friday. Photo: DOT webcam.

The View from the Bridge (raising)

It was a busy day Friday in the Champlain valley where crew worked from dawn to install the middle arch in the new Champlain bridge.

Brian Mann was following the work through the day, and he joined Nora Flaherty from the Fort in Crown Point.  Go to full article
3:30 pm. The arch rises a few feet per hour. Photos: DOT webcam.
3:30 pm. The arch rises a few feet per hour. Photos: DOT webcam.

Installation of missing link begins on Crown Point bridge

UPDATE: The arch was at the new site around 8 this morning. Lifting it into place is expected to take four to eight hours.
**
This morning just before six am, workers on the waterfront in Port Henry fired up their tug boats and began moving the massive four hundred foot arch that will complete the Crown Point bridge.

Fifty or so people turned out early to watch, listening quietly as the tugs' big engines rumbled. Brian Mann was on the breakwater watching as the big arch left the construction yard and began its journey south to Crown Point. He spoke with Martha Foley.  Go to full article

DOT updates road closures

Road and bridge closures are widespread in the three state transportation department regions that span the North Country.Conditions are changing, sometimes rapidly, and the DOT has an evergreen warning to never drive through standing water whether a road is closed or not.
This is the list from the DOT at 12:30 this afternoon:  Go to full article
The Lake Champlain Bridge is still a work in progress (Photo:  Brian Mann)
The Lake Champlain Bridge is still a work in progress (Photo: Brian Mann)

Lake Champlain bridge on schedule, "several million dollars" over budget

New York's Transportation Department is spending millions of dollars of extra money, trying to finish the Lake Champlain Bridge by the October 9th deadline.

The old bridge was closed in 2009 and eventually demolished because of safety concerns.

At a briefing last night in Addison, Vermont, DOT officials said efforts to build the new bridge as fast as possible have been complicated by wintry weather and by debris on the lake bottom.

Still, as Brian Mann reports, community leaders and local businesses are praising the state for scrambling to finish the project on time.  Go to full article
NYS DOT Salt truck clearing roads (Source: DOT)
NYS DOT Salt truck clearing roads (Source: DOT)

Conference: Aggressive road salt use costly and damages environment

A generation ago, acid rain caused by coal burning power plants in the Midwest was seen as the biggest threat to Adirondack lakes and waterways.

New environmental regulations have stopped much of that pollution. But a growing number of advocates say the next big danger is coming from a source closer to home. Every winter, state and local trucks dump thousands of tons of salt in an effort to melt the snow and ice on North Country roads.

Critics say the current system is too toxic. But a growing number of state and local officials say spreading all that salt is also too expensive. Brian Mann has our story.  Go to full article
New Lake Champlain bridge is projected to open in Summer 2011.
New Lake Champlain bridge is projected to open in Summer 2011.

DOT says new Lake Champlain bridge won?t be derailed by budget crisis

The budget crisis in Albany is threatening to bring state construction projects to a standstill. But New York's Department of Transportation says the effort to rebuild the Lake Champlain bridge at Crown Point is still on track. With eighty percent of the funding coming from the Federal government, the project appears to be insulated from most of the chaos in the state capital. But as Brian Mann reports, many local residents still worry that the bridge could be delayed.  Go to full article

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