Afternoon read: Well, it certainly puts that car repair in perspective…

The Ogdensburg Prescott bridge, heading north. Photo: Ari Herzog, CC some rights reserved

I mention today’s “afternoon read” article mostly because I got a real chuckle out of the headline: “Ogdensburg bridge in good shape, but needs $100 million in repairs.” That’s from the Watertown Daily Times today.

So, our car died yesterday and we had it towed to the place that services it. A couple hours later, we were a couple hundred dollars lighter in the wallet than we had been, but our car was in fine working order once again. I can’t imagine how I would have felt had the mechanic come out from “the back” and said, “well, it’s in pretty good shape, but it does need $100 million in repairs.”

The bridge in question is the Ogdensburg-Prescott international bridge, and for all I know hearing that the bridge only needed $100 million spent on it was a gigantic relief to the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority (OBPA).

Apparently a recent inspection revealed the bridge to be in “satisfactory to good condition”, but with some repairs needed including repainting, fixing steel that’s been “cracked by fatigue”, and an in-depth inspection of the bridge’s main cables and suspenders. That last one alone will cost about $900,000, with a possible total expense of $5 million.

OBPA Executive Director Wade Davis said the repairs will be funded through a “mosaic” of state and federal grants the organization is seeking, and that the project will take place over the next several years.


10 Comments on “Afternoon read: Well, it certainly puts that car repair in perspective…”

  1. Rancid Crabtree says:

    Is it $5 mill ir $100 mill? Either way I wouldn’t trust OBPA do over see the work. A trustworthy 3rd party would be a better choice.

    BTW, a DHS employee I know tells me OBPA get’s almost $100K a month rent from DHS for the POE facility. Why is it OBPA can never pay for anything themselves with money like that coming in?

  2. Paul says:

    If they haven’t done the “in dept inspection” yet how do they know what is going on with the bridge? I hate bridges, especially that Thruway bridge south of Albany where it crosses way high over the Hudson. That old bridge gives me the creeps.

  3. Paul says:

    RC, you gotta define your acronyms. Some of us have no clue what you are talking about. I read that and I was like WTx (will not add the last letter since this is a family friendly blog!).

  4. Rancid Crabtree says:

    Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority. Dept of Homeland Security. Port Of Entry. By The Way.

  5. Nora says:

    Rancid, I believe the entire project is projected to cost $100 million; the cable and suspender repairs may cost up to $5 million on their own. The inspection is expected to cost about $900,000.

  6. Hank says:

    Didn’t they just do major deck replacement work on the bridge a year or two ago? Seems like that would have been a choice time to also do this other inspection work.

  7. Rancid Crabtree says:

    Hank, could that have been the TI bridge in Alex Bay?

  8. Wade Davis says:

    Hi Nora,

    Nice afternoon read commentary. Your commentary is on base but there are three things that didn’t make the wdt article. The bridge supports I’ve $4 billion of goods into/out of the region each year via 800,000 vehicles, it’s a key regional structure to the North Country Economy, and would cost in excess of 1/2 Billion dollars to replace it. Also, the OBPA submitted a $15 million grant request to NYSdot STEP program which if funded will start phase 2a of the rehabilitation. Phase 1 rehab (main span $23 million) was completed two years ago.

    I’ll reach out to you next week to provide more information on the bridge as the full story isn’t getting out there and it’s a very important issue to the Nny economy and your listeners/readers.

    I listen to ncpr often, please keep up the good work! – Wade

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