Old Military Road to close for construction Monday

LAKE PLACID – Old Military Road is set to close to traffic Monday and could stay closed for more than a month.

Work on the $7.4 million project, which includes the installation of a new bridge over the Chubb River and realignment of Riki Hill, is currently under way. Crews are doing prep work along the sides of the road as well as some surveying, according to Essex County Department of Public Works Superintendent Tony LaVigne.

“We had a meeting (with the contractor) last Thursday, and they said it was a definite date,” he said. “It may be adjusted a day or two, but they will put some (electronic) message boards in anticipation of that.”

If the date changes, two electronic billboards placed on either side of Old Military Road – the state routes 86 and 73 intersections – will notify motorists. Work crews may use one-lane closures between now and when the road closes.

When closed, motorists will be detoured through the village of Lake Placid. A temporary light will be set up at the intersection of Saranac Avenue and Wesvalley Road to relieve traffic congestion.

Construction started last summer, continued into the fall and was suspended until the spring. Rifenburg Construction Inc. of Troy is the lead contractor on the project, and the county is supervising the work.

LaVigne said the detour will end before Memorial Day weekend, traditionally the beginning of the summer tourism season.

“I told (the contractor) that the detour cannot last past Memorial Day weekend,” he said. “I just got a date set: They’re going to pull the detour the Thursday before Memorial Day.”

That would mean Old Military will reopen on May 23, although the electronic billboards on Tuesday said the closure will last until May 24.