Coreys Road reopens after culvert is replaced

SARANAC LAKE – Coreys Road reopened to two-way traffic Wednesday after Franklin County and town of Harrietsown highway department crews replaced a culvert that was damaged in the spring 2011 flood.

Harrietstown Highway Superintendent Craig Donaldson said the project got underway on Monday when a wrecking ball attached to the bucket of an excavator was used to demolish the existing concrete box culvert, which is located about a quarter-mile from the intersection of Coreys Road and state Route 3, near Stony Creek Ponds.

Its replacement, a massive 40-foot-long by 12-foot-wide metal culvert, was hauled to the site by flatbed trailer from behind the Harrietstown Highway Department garage, where it had been assembled by town crews. A county Highway Department worker, using the same excavator, lifted the new culvert off the flatbed and carefully set it into place across the road.

Apart from an adjustment that had to be made to the headwall of the new culvert, Donaldson said the project went smoothly and with only a couple of complaints from residents who live on the road. The road was open for pedestrian traffic by Monday evening, one-way vehicle traffic on Tuesday and two-way traffic on Wednesday. An old fire truck, loaned by the town of Santa Clara, was placed on the cut-off side of the road while it was shut down.

Donaldson said the county will pave that section of road sometime in the next two weeks.

Harriestown officials saluted the roughly 15 town and county workers involved in the project at Thursday night’s town board meeting in Saranac Lake.

“It went like clockwork,” said Councilman Barry DeFuria. “They did a fantastic job.”

“It’s really nice to hear that all the different municipalities and all the different parties came together and worked together,” said Councilwoman Nichole Meyette.

The new culvert cost $20,000 and was paid for by state and federal emergency management funds. It’s specially designed to be easier for fish to navigate and reach their upstream habitat to spawn.

“The fish that were out here had nothing but smiles on their faces,” Donaldson joked.