State DOT announces north country project to rehabilitate State Route 12F bridge over I-81

Project Will Rehabilitate Bridge Deck and Update Guiderail Along Busy Travel Corridor in Watertown 

Part of $7.3 Million Rehabilitation Project to Enhance Safety and Improve Travel at Four Key Crossings in the North Country

DEXTER, NY —  New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez today announced that work will soon begin on the State Route 12F (Coffeen Street) bridge over Interstate 81 in Watertown, a key crossing for Jefferson County communities and for commercial vehicles. This $1.8 million project will complete a multi-year, $7.3 million contract rehabilitating four bridges in the North Country. The project, which will rehabilitate the concrete bridge deck as well as provide for updated guiderail on the bridge, is expected to be completed this fall.

“Providing North Country communities across New York State with safe and reliable transportation infrastructure is critical to a robust economy,” said Commissioner Dominguez. “Rehabilitation projects like these provide cost-effective solutions to revitalize key crossings that are impacted by severe North Country winter weather, while ensuring that commerce continues throughout the region.”

In addition to the State Route 12F bridge located in Jefferson County, the following bridges, located in St. Lawrence County, are being rehabilitated as part of the $7.3 million contract:

  • The State Route 3 bridge over the Oswegatchie River in the Town of Clifton

  • The U.S. Route 11 bridge over Deer River in the Town of Lawrence

  • The State Route 131 bridge over Grasse River in the Town of Massena

In order to complete the necessary work for the State Route 12F bridge, the I-81 off-ramps at Coffeen Street (Exit 46) will be closed to traffic. Signage and message boards will be established, directing those wishing to use the Coffeen Street exit to instead use Arsenal Street (Exit 45) and County Route 202 as a detour. Traffic will still be able to cross the bridge going into and out of the City of Watertown – with alternating traffic controlled by temporary signals. Moreover, the on-ramps to I-81 at Coffeen Street will remain open to traffic, with the only caveat being that later this summer, no left turns will be allowed at the on-ramps.

The Department understands the importance of this route to the community.  While this project will pose an inconvenience to traffic movement, early intervention on bridge decks and wearing surfaces is necessary as it prevents the need for a full replacement, which would have longer and more significant traffic impacts.

Senator Mark Walczyk said, “The bridge on State Route 12F that arches over interstate 81 serves as critical infrastructure in Jefferson County. The bridge is critical for commercial transit and to connect the City of Watertown to surrounding communities. This project is a win for Jefferson County and the 49th Senate District.”

Assemblymember Scott Gray said, “I appreciate the improvements coming to the North Country and look forward to seeing the final outcome as we continue to improve the infrastructure all over the North Country.”

Motorists are urged to slow down and drive responsibly in work zones. Fines are doubled for speeding in a work zone.  Convictions of two or more speeding violations in a work zone could result in the suspension of an individual’s driver license.

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