HOOSICK, N.Y. — New York transportation officials announced Friday that State Route 7 in the Town of Hoosick, Rensselaer County, has reopened following an emergency culvert replacement underneath this critical highway.
A team of Department of Transportation and contractors have worked around the clock since the emergency closure on Jan. 13 to replace the damaged culvert, which carries overflow water from the Hoosic River, and reopen the road.
“I am extremely proud of our team of DOT and contractor forces who literally moved earth to get this work completed as rapidly and as safely as possible during challenging winter weather conditions,” Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said in a news release. “We appreciate the patience of local residents, business owners, visitors and our partners in local and county governments, as well as in the State of Vermont as we worked to accelerate this emergency project.”
Route 7 is a critical roadway connecting New York State to nearby Southern Vermont for residents, businesses, truckers and long-haulers, and visitors to both states, including winter recreation enthusiasts. With the road reopened, the detour that was in place has been removed.
Upon the closure, the department rapidly assembled a multi-discipline team of design and construction experts to address the situation. With its emergency contractor, D.A. Collins, DOT unearthed the damaged culvert, prepared bedding for the new structure and installed 34 new pre-cast concrete culvert components — each 24 feet by 10 feet by 4 feet, and weighing 29 tons. These components were lowered via crane into place and stitched together to form a 136-foot-long finished culvert.
Work progressed around the clock, day and night, according to the news release. Three cranes were used to load, stage and lower the multi-ton culvert pieces, including a massive 200-ton crane that was assembled on the site. At least 25 workers were on location at any given time, along with flatbed trailers, mechanic trucks, excavators, front-end loaders, equipment trailers and hauling and dump trucks.
The final steps — filling in the earth around the new culvert, placing blacktop and installing guiderails — were completed over the past few days.
The department was able to reopen the road in three weeks due to the foresight of manufacturing the emergency pre-cast concrete culvert components this past summer and fall to have on hand in an emergency situation, such as the one on Route 7, DOT said. Manufacturing of the culvert components alone would normally take three to four months.
Blacktop is normally not placed during the cold winter months. The Department anticipates returning to the site later this year to smooth the surface pavement as necessary.
Village of Hoosick Falls Mayor Robert Allen said, “The Village of Hoosick Falls is very grateful for the consistent communication and updates from DOT and the focus this project received. We’re very impressed with how quickly a job of this size and scope was able to be done, especially in the dead of winter. We want to thank the Department of Transportation and all contractors involved, all law enforcement agencies involved, Rensselaer County officials and our local residents who patiently waited for the situation to be resolved.”