NYS DOT announces $8.3M project to replace Arsenal Street bridge to begin; Temporary bridge to keep traffic moving while new bridge is being built

WATERTOWN, NY — New York State Department of Transportation Acting Commissioner Paul A. Karas today announced that work is getting underway on an $8.3 million project to replace the State Route 3 (Arsenal Street) bridge over the CSX Railroad in the city of Watertown, Jefferson County. State Route 3 is critical to the economy of the North Country as it is the principal commercial and retail corridor in Jefferson County and serves as a primary travel route into the city of Watertown.

“With Governor Cuomo’s support, we are strengthening bridges and rebuilding roadways across New York State to make sure they continue to support commerce, travel and economic growth,” Acting Commissioner Karas said.  “The Arsenal Street project, which is vital to ensure convenient access to thecity of Watertown, is a perfect example of our continued investments in New York’s infrastructure.”

The project will replace an aging, four-lane bridge with a new four-lane structure that provides greater clearance for the CSX rail line passing beneath the bridge. The new bridge will have lighting, sidewalks and pedestrian ramps that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

State Senator Pattie Ritchie said, “The Arsenal Street Bridge is an essential corridor for pedestrian travel and regional commerce in the North Country. It is critically important for the state to make the necessary investments in this vital roadway that will increase safety for drivers and at the same time foster a climate for economic growth. I’m pleased to see that the NYSDOT will soon undertake this project and also implement measures to mitigate traffic disruptions as a result of the bridge replacement.”

Assemblywoman Addie Jenne said, “Our infrastructure is critically important to the North Country economy, and I’m pleased with the infusion of state and federal funding to replace the aging span on Arsenal Street. These targeted investments are important to our transportation network as well as bringing additional dollars into the community during the construction process.  I’m confident this bridge, like others that have been completed recently in our region, will be completed on time and on budget. That’s important to the businesses and residents impacted by this project. This bridge is critical to the city as it connects the downtown area and the Arsenal Street business corridor.”

Watertown Mayor Joe Butler, Jr. said, “We’re very excited about the investment the DOT and the State are making in one of the most traveled bridges in all of Jefferson County, and one of the primary gateways to Downtown Watertown. The Region 7 team has been great to work with.  We believe this significant project will benefit the City of Watertown in the long run and open up opportunities for other related infrastructure projects in the proximity.  We thank the Governor and the DOT for their leadership on this project and for the State’s commitment to improve a major artery within our City.”

It is expected that traffic will remain on the existing structure until early spring 2019 at which point traffic will be diverted onto a temporary bridge.  The new bridge is scheduled to be completed in late 2019.

Motorists are reminded that fines are doubled for speeding in work zones and are urged to slow down, watch for construction workers and heed the direction of flaggers. In accordance with the Work Zone Safety Act of 2005, convictions of two or more speeding violations in a work zone could result in the suspension of an individual’s driver license.

Last month, NYSDOT and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee unveiled new public service announcements and a social media campaign focused on the importance of respecting flagging personnel. This year’s work zone safety campaign, “Flaggers have families too,” is designed to remind motorists that flagging personnel are not attempting to disrupt traffic – they are simply doing their jobs and want to get home safely at the end of each work day. The PSAscan be viewed here and here.