TO: Batchellerville Bridge Action Committee Members
FROM: Peter Van Avery
DATE: November 1, 2011

The Batchellerville Bridge replacement project is moving right along. In October, the contractor began setting steel while continuing to construct Piers 7 and 9 and the east abutment. The steel and concrete work will continue through the month of November. The last pier to be worked on will be Pier 8. All 12 piers are expected to be out of the water before freeze-up.

The steel girders that will support the bridge's 9.5-inch-thick concrete deck come in different heights and lengths. They range from about 95 to 155 feet in length. In general, the girders are eight feet high (when positioned horizontally), but over Piers 5, 6, 7, and 8, they will flare to 12 feet high.

The project will require a total of 96 steel girders, all of which will be trucked up along the South Shore Road. At the east abutment, they are loaded onto barges for delivery to their specific work site on the new bridge.

So far, eight girders have been erected, completing the span from the west abutment to Pier 1. Work is now under way to link Pier 1 with Pier 2. Note to sidewalk superintendents: The steel girders are spliced together with bolted connections.

The Hudson River-Black River Regulating District's board will meet at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, November 2, 2011, at the Saratoga County Offices, Cornell Cooperative Extension Building, 50 West High Street, Ballston Spa, NY 12020.

The session will begin with a meeting of the board's Governance Committee. It will be followed by the full board's regular November meeting.

One proposal before the Governance Committee is whether to restructure the board's nine committees, condensing the total number to three. They would be Audit, Finance, and Governance (the only mandated ones). All the larger public authorities have just these three committees. All permit system and operations business currently split up among the board's remaining six committees would be moved to the regular meeting of the full board.

Final action on this proposed change would take place at the board's next organizational meeting in January 2012.

A second change will take place immediately. Committees will no longer be allowed to conduct their business during meetings of the full board. In the future, any committee action will take place as a separate meeting, publicized in advance, prior to the regular meeting of the full board.

I take it that the state's Authority Budget Office is nudging the Regulating District to take these two actions.

If you can't attend a Regulating District board meeting in person (and not many members of the public actually do), you can watch a webcast of the proceedings by going to the District's website ( and clicking on "Board Meetings." Committee meetings also are webcast. The webcasts are posted no later than two business days after the close of a meeting.

An extra benefit of a webcast is that you can tackle it in bits and pieces -- you don't have to digest the whole ordeal at one sitting. And if your mind drifts off (you know who you are), you can always rewind to see what you missed. Or not.

Great Sacandaga Lake is at 765.7 feet above sea level -- about 7.5 feet above target.