LAKE PLACID - With winter looming, Essex County has wrapped up work on Old Military Road until the spring.
Gary Rancour, assistant civil engineer with the Essex County Department of Public Works, said work on a new bridge over the Chubb River will restart in the spring. He said crews are paving rough spots on Old Military Road before winter.
"There's still quite a bit, as far as the road goes, to complete," Rancour explained. Essex County's DPW superintendent, Tony LaVigne, could not be reached for comment on Tuesday because he's on vacation.
The county plans to continue the $7.4 million project as soon as winter is over, Rancour said. Rifenburg Construction Inc. of Troy is the lead contractor on the project, which is being overseen by the county. In addition to the new bridge, crews are also realigning Riki Hill.
Old Military Road was reopened last week after a two-month closure, ending a detour through the village that caused traffic congestion at some intersections, including Wesvalley Road and Saranac Avenue, where the county installed a temporary traffic signal. That stoplight has been removed.
Lake Placid village Mayor Craig Randall said he anticipated that more of the project would be complete at this point, but he's pleased with the progress nonetheless. Randall said he drove on the road after it reopened last week.
"I guess I was looking for a lot more dramatic change than what I saw up there," Randall said. "The main areas where I was expecting to see more change would have been the Riki Hill section above the firehouse, which we couldn't see all summer long. It looks to me like they've got more work to do there in the spring."
Randall noted that work crews have widened rights of way and built new drainage systems for stormwater runoff. On the stretch from the firehouse to the elementary school, Randall said a lot of the work isn't visible.
"It's pretty impressive," he said. "We're grateful that the sidewalks are getting back in to the elementary school. Obviously, that will relieve the month-and-a-half congestion for the school buses and the people that were dropping their kids off there."