Section: CAPITAL REGION,  Page: B3

Date: Friday, July 18, 2003

EDINBURGH -- Repairs to the Batchellerville Bridge are complete, allowing two-way traffic to resume over the Great Sacandaga Lake, the state Department of Transportation announced Thursday.

Edinburgh Supervisor Jean Raymond was relieved. She said the one-way restriction was inconvenient in the winter, but it was awful when the summer hit. ``Fourth of July weekend, cars were backed up 15, 20 light cycles,'' she said.

The state erected traffic lights at each end of the 3,078-foot bridge in November to create one-way traffic.

The 72-year-old bridge carries Saratoga County Route 98 over the water. The deteriorating bridge has a 15-ton weight limit. Without the repairs, the DOT announced last fall that the limit would have to be lowered.

Repair work began in June. Reinforcements were added to 27 locations on the truss. Crumbling concrete that had been falling into the water was chipped off, and the bridge was sound enough to restore the 15-ton weight limit.

The state has estimated that building a replacement bridge will cost $38 million. Peter Van Keuren, a DOT spokesman, said design work should be done by the end of 2004 and bids will go out in early 2005, assuming the state has the money to go forward.

``This lake was built to protect people all the way to New York City,'' Raymond said. ``It is only right that a bridge be maintained over it, but there's no money right now.''

The Sacandaga Lake, a reservoir, was built in 1930 by the Hudson River Regulating District.

-- Leigh Hornbeck