Work on Greenkill bridge hits snag
Railroad’s inability to supply a flagman will delay demolition of span
KINGSTON >> Removal of steel from the Greenkill Avenue bridge, which had been expected to start this week, is likely to be delayed because of a snafu involving the posting of a safety flagman at the site, according to a city official.
City Engineer Ralph Swenson said CSX Corp., which operates trains that use a parallel bridge just feet away, is unable to supply a flagman for the project this week.
Under the law, Swenson said, the city must use a CSX safety flagman to check the steel removal because of its closeness to the CSX bridge. The
steel cannot be removed unless a flagman is stationed at the bridge demolition site, he added.
“There are certain rules that the railroad has when work is being done in proximity to their tracks and they dictate what is done within that zone and when,” Swenson said. “We are required to use their employees for flagging.”
Swenson said that, if the safety flagman spots what CSX considers a safety problem during the steel demolition, the project could be further delayed. The steel removal, which is to be done at night, is part of the demolition of the Greenkill Avenue Bridge to make way for a replacement. Demolition of concrete and asphalt began on Nov. 7. The entire demolition project was to take two weeks. It then will take about a year to build the replacement bridge. Broadway beneath the bridge is to remain open to traffic throughout the project, though intermittent lane closures are possible. Also, overnight closures are expected during the upcoming steel-removal process.
The project is being carried out by contractor Bette & Cring, which submitted a low bid of $2.08 million. New York state is expected to cover about 95 percent of the cost.
The city initially expected the project to cost about $3.5 million.
The Greenkill Avenue bridge, built in 1952, is about 86 feet long and was found to have average daily use of about 4,000 vehicles in a study conducted three years ago. It’s being replaced due to deterioration deemed too serious to repair.
Detours for drivers who typically would use the bridge have been posted.
Greenkill Avenue bridge, Kingston, Nov. 10, 2016