South Mall Expressway closed

The state Department of Transportation announced Wednesday night that it was immediately closing the South Mall Expressway -- that's Routes 9 and 20 between the Empire State Plaza and the Dunn Memorial Bridge -- because an inspection found cracks in beams that support the road. The full release -- with suggested alternate routes -- is after the jump.

Also part of the closure: the Madison Avenue off-ramp from I-787 south, the South Pearl Street on-ramp leading to the Dunn Memorial Bridge, and the part of Broadway between the Quay Street Connector and Madison Avenue.

The Dunn is still open, but down to one westbound lane (that is, heading toward Albany). Albany police say they expect backups Thursday morning, maybe as far back as Rensselaer. They're suggesting people use alternate routes if possible.

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NYSDOT press release:

South Mall Expressway in Albany Closed to Traffic Immediately

The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) today announced that the South Mall Expressway (Routes 9 and 20) eastbound and westbound between the Empire State Plaza and the Dunn Memorial Bridge in Albany is closed to traffic, effective immediately. Also closed are: the Madison Avenue off-ramp from I-787 south, the South Pearl Street on-ramp leading to the Dunn Memorial Bridge, and a portion of Broadway between the Quay Street Connector and Madison Avenue.

The Dunn Memorial Bridge is open to traffic, but there is no access to the bridge from the South Mall Expressway. Motorists can access Interstate 787 north and southbound from Rensselaer and from the Empire State Plaza.

Motorists wanting to get to Rensselaer from the Empire State Plaza are advised to take Interstate 787 north to Interstate 90 and the Patroon Island Bridge. Motorists also may take I-787 south, to Exit 2 for South Pearl Street and the Port of Albany. They should then re-enter I-787 north and exit at Exit 3 for Route 9 south/Route 20 east and Rensselaer, heading to the Dunn Memorial Bridge and Rensselaer. Signage for alternate routes is posted in the vicinity of the closure.

The closures are needed to ensure public safety following a bridge inspection that revealed cracks in two pier cap beams supporting the South Mall Expressway in Albany as it leads into the Dunn Memorial Bridge.

NYSDOT, City of Albany Police and the Albany Department of Public Works are on the scene. NYSDOT is analyzing repair options and schedules. Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.

For up-to-date travel information, call 511 or visit www.511NY.org.
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And an updated press release from NYSDOT:

UPDATE: Lane Closure on Ramp from Rensselaer to Dunn Memorial Bridge

The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) today announced that the ramp from downtown Rensselaer onto the Dunn Memorial Bridge has been reduced to one lane as part of the closure of the South Mall Expressway (Routes 9 and 20) eastbound and westbound between the Empire State Plaza and the Dunn Memorial Bridge in Albany. One lane is open for traffic traveling onto Interstate 787. The lane accessing South Pearl Street and the South Mall Expressway is closed. Motorists trying to access the Empire State Plaza from Rensselaer may wish to take Interstate 90 across the Patroon Island Bridge to I-787.

To access the Empire State Plaza, westbound traffic from Rensselaer should cross the Dunn Memorial Bridge and take the ramp to I-787 northbound to the Colonie Street exit and then onto Water Street and the ramp to the Empire State Plaza.

Also closed are: the Madison Avenue off-ramp from I-787 south, the South Pearl Street on-ramp leading to the Dunn Memorial Bridge, and a portion of Broadway between the Quay Street Connector and Madison Avenue.

The Dunn Memorial Bridge is open to traffic, but there is no access to the bridge from the South Mall Expressway. Motorists can access Interstate 787 north and southbound from Rensselaer and from the Empire State Plaza.

Motorists wanting to get to Rensselaer from the Empire State Plaza are advised to take Interstate 787 north to Interstate 90 and the Patroon Island Bridge. Motorists also may take I-787 south, to Exit 2 for South Pearl Street and the Port of Albany. They should then re-enter I-787 north and exit at Exit 3 for Route 9 south/Route 20 east and Rensselaer, heading to the Dunn Memorial Bridge and Rensselaer. Signage for alternate routes is posted in the vicinity of the closure.

The closures are needed to ensure public safety following a bridge inspection that revealed cracks in two pier cap beams supporting the South Mall Expressway in Albany as it leads into the Dunn Memorial Bridge.

NYSDOT, City of Albany Police and the Albany Department of Public Works are on the scene. NYSDOT is analyzing repair options and schedules. Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.

For up-to-date travel information, call 511 or visit www.511NY.org.

Comments

Glad I checked you folks this morning. The TU site doesn't even have this.

Better get that fixed before all the bridge inspectors get laid off on the 22nd :-/

One vote here for tearing it down and turning it into a boulevard.

Can we please stop debating whether removal of 787 is more expensive than maintaining it? It's about time this albatross is grounded and the Albany gets our Waterfront back.

The state has been replacing dozens of these frozen or worn out bearings on the bridge over the past 5 years. I'm sure the frozen bearings on this one span caused the pier cap to be cracked, and in need of replacement.

Bridge piers are made out reinforced concrete, the caps have less reinforcement, because their primary thing is to hold the bearing plate, and ultimately the bridge up. But if the bearing gets rusted and freezes fast to the plate, then the expansion movement of the bridge can be transferred to pier cap and pier, causing the pier cap to crack and be severely damaged, as it's not designed to withstand lateral motion.

Normally this isn't a big deal, but it certainly would have been cheaper and less disruptive if they had replaced the bearing before pier cap cracked. I'd say probably 1/4 of bearings the DOT replaces requires the pier cap to be replaced, but normally it's caught early enough on, that they can jack up bridge spans with temporary supports, while they replace the cap and bearing at the same time.

Time to replace this with a boulevard and a functioning neighborhood.

Time to take down this monstrosity and replace it with a boulevard and a functioning neighborhood.

Another vote for the boulevard. If it has to be named Jerry Jennings Blvd and to run past the grand entrance to the Jerry Jennings Convention Center in order to make it happen, so be it. Think about your legacy, Mr. Mayor! Heck, I'll sponsor a section and will personally clean up the trash.

FYI: The City of Albany does not have a Department of Public Works (DPW), it is the Department of General Services (DGS).

Thanks for the pictures. I flloowed a link that Duncan Crary left on the kunstlercast forum and NOW I see what they were expending not quite a thousand words on in their podcast. The pictures of the soon-to-be former city hall and the "grand staircase". Even an example from an earlier podcast in which Duncan talked about service alleys, alleys with character and utility value. Y'know, it really doesn't take that much at all to create the right space, even in an alley.Wow, that city hall makes me want to reach for the Soma (TM). The misshapen wreath draped on that moribund concrete wall might also serve as a similar totem as the American flag next to it. In JHK's words. "A flag is a sort of supernatural totem, meant to protect the bearer against animadversion and harm. We're trying to distract ourselves from the spectacle of ugliness and banality that we've created...". Happy Holidays.

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