Work on Blenheim Bridge starting soon


By David Avitabile

Substantial work is scheduled to begin on the new Blenheim Covered Bridge next month.
Construction crews are expected to begin the removal of the western bridge abutment in April, county flood recovery coordinator Bill Cherry told Schoharie County supervisors Friday morning. The erection of a new, reinforced support abutment is expected to be completed in May.
The removal of the eastern bridge abutment and erection of a new abutment is slated for May and June.
The on-site assembly of the replacement covered bridge is expected to take up the remainder of the year from July through December, Mr. Cherry said.
The bridge will be completed and then placed by crane on top of the two new bridge abutments, according to Mr. Cherry.
Completion of this phase by the end of the year will depend largely on streambed conditions during the summer and weather conditions in November and December, Mr. Cherry added.
Work in 2018 will include the installation of concrete sidewalks, fences, and railings, and the final landscaping and cleanup of the site. The project, which is completely funded by FEMA, is expected to be complete by July 2018.
Middleburgh Supervisor Pete Coppolo noted that the engineering costs for the abutments increased from $79,000 to $425,000. Mr. Cherry explained that the costs were approved by FEMA and the engineering firm will now monitor the work every day.
The total project should be built for $8 million or less, Mr. Cherry said last month. The construction portion will be about $6.7 million.