July 2005

On June 13, Upstate New York was hit with rains of biblical proportions (6 to 8 in. to be exact.)

When the sun rose the following morning, the devastation along the Northway by Lake George became apparent. A mudslide left a section of the highway covered with boulders and rushing water, leading authorities to close a 16-mi. stretch of the road. On Tuesday, June 14, two of the highway’s four lanes — one northbound, one southbound — had collapsed under the onrush of water.

Although the portion of I-87 that suffered the most damage from the storm is among the less busy sections of the road, 13,000 vehicles still travel along this route daily, with most of the traffic consisting of trucks. Worse, the closure came at the kickoff of the summer travel season in an area heavily dependent on tourism.

To get this road re-opened quickly, NYSDOT called in its Region 1 emergency standby contractor, Delaney Construction, of Mayfield.

Included in the scope of Delaney’s work is the replacement of all of the medians, which were washed out; replacement of all of the embankments, which will consist of 6,540 cu. yds. of fill; armoring the existing stream, which runs east to west, using rip rap; reconstruction of the northbound and southbound lanes with new asphalt; replacement of all guardrails; replacing a 500-ft. section, running east to west, of River Road, which is located underneath I-87; and removing the debris that resulted from the mudslide.

That’s a lot of work, but virtually non-stop rain made things even more difficult, according to Delaney Vice President Robert Finkle. But after using a 50-man crew working 24 hours a day, Delaney had cleared enough debris so that the road was re-opened on Friday, June 17.

Though there’s still work to be done to rehabilitate this section of I-87, kudos to Delaney and its crews for a job well done under pressure. P

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