JAMESTOWN – The Chautauqua County Department of Public Facilities recently announced that a major construction milestone was completed for the South Main Street Bridge, which is located between First and Harrison Streets in Jamestown.
The bridge’s concrete relieving slab was poured on Sept. 21 and after a 14-day curing period, the granite curbing and sidewalk placement can begin.
“We are making excellent progress on this bridge replacement so it is safe for our travelling public,” said Brad Bentley, Director of Chautauqua County Department of Public Facilities. “In addition to pouring the relieving slab, new waterline and electrical services are substantially completed across the rehabilitated arches. Workers are also cleaning and resetting the stone masonry on the inside of the arches and outside walls.”
The next steps to finishing this bridge project include the pouring of the concrete bridge walls, constructing the bridge approaches, and completing the asphalt paving. In addition, the cofferdams and stream access that were needed for construction will be removed and stream banks restored. Simultaneously, the roadway beneath the railroad overpass will be rebuilt. Finally, the lamp posts, fixtures and cap stone will need to be installed on the bridge walls.
The County expects, notwithstanding any weather delays, that this important bridge project will be completed and opened by the end of November 2018.
The bridge has been under construction for the past four years. During the summer of 2014, stones from the South Main Street Bridge fell into the Chadakoin River, leading to the sidewalk being closed on the west side of the bridge. In October 2014, then public facilities director George Spanos told the County Legislature’s Public Facilities Committee that during a biannual inspection of the bridge, consultants discovered water had penetrated the top of the arch under the bridge, which in turn softened the grout and stone. At the time it was expected the work would only take a single construction season to complete, but other delays extended the time line will into 2018.
In 2015 the bridge was reduced to a single-lane as crews made upgrades to it. But an inspection revealed the structural integrity of the bridge was compromised forcing it to be completely closed in March 2018. The total cost of the project comes in at an estimated cost of $4.2 million.