Bridge repairs, painting to resume


Work is under way to complete the remaining 80 percent of the $26 million repair and painting of the southbound Grand Island bridges along the I-190, according to Terry O'Brien, Thruway Authority spokesman.

Crews from Erie Interstate Contractors of Lancaster started work this week on the two 3,400-foot-long bridges. The south bridges were last painted in 1990.

O'Brien said Erie has been building the rigging this week in preparation for the project, which will finish six arches this year. The remaining four arches will be done in 2003, O'Brien said.

Crews from Erie will next begin work removing paint and cleaning the bridges before the new bright blue paint is applied.

Erie is the third such contractor since the original contract for the work was awarded to a Pennsylvania firm in 1998. After a 51-year-old painter from Textar Painting Corp. of Upper Darby, Pa., fell to his death in spring 1999, the company ceased work. Contracts with a second firm, Keystone Construction Corp. of the Bronx, also failed the following year.

O'Brien said the painting is not expected to have significant effects on traffic flow across either span.