Franklin Falls road reopens with new bridge

The Franklin Falls bridge over the Saranac River was reopened Friday after 19 days of closure.

The bridge replacement project was finished just in time – the contractor had until midnight – and not over the $1.5 million budgeted for the job.

Detour signs are set to be removed Saturday. The detours were long ones: either through the town of Black Brook or through Wilmington and Lake Placid.

The bridge had been closed since July 29.

Franklin County owns the bridge and the road that passes over it, county Route 48. Friend Commercial Contracting, based in Malone, was the main contractor.

It’s in a sparsely populated area, and only about 200 cars pass over the bridge a day, according to county Highway Superintendent Jonathan Hutchins. For that reason it was seen as OK to close it for 19 days.

Hutchins noted that the county has been busy replacing bridges in the town of Franklin lately. The Goldsmith Road was reopened about two weeks ago after a bridge replacement that cut off the road for about 75 days. And the Lincoln Brook bridge on Route 48 in Franklin Falls was replaced in early 2012 after it was washed out by Tropical Storm Irene the previous year.