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Work starts on Wilmington Notch road Wednesday

July 24, 2012
By CHRIS MORRIS - Staff Writer ( , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

With the Ironman triathlon in the rearview mirror, the state Department of Transportation will restart construction work on state Route 86 Wednesday morning, this time between Lake Placid and Wilmington.

Motorists should expect delays between the two communities, DOT officials said. Work will run between the intersection of state routes 86 and 73 in the village of Lake Placid and the "Four Corners" in the town of Wilmington, where Route 86 meets state Route 431.

Contractors recently completed resurfacing work on the Sara-Placid Highway portion of Route 86, a project that local officials said was long overdue. That project resulted in long delays at times because there are no alternate routes between Saranac Lake and Lake Placid, and the 8-mile stretch of highway is one of the most heavily traveled roadways in the Adirondack Park.

"As with any project in the Adirondacks, there's no easy, straightforward detour routes," DOT Commissioner Joan McDonald told the Enterprise today.

Travelers will have easier detours around the Wilmington Notch project: One is state routes 73, 9N and 86 to Keene, Jay and Wilmington. Another is through Bloomingdale and Franklin Falls.

McDonald noted that traffic volume on that stretch of highway, about 4,000 cars a day, is about a third of the traffic volume on the Sara-Placid Highway.

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The project is expected to be finished by early September, McDonald said. The first phase, expected to take about three weeks, will use cold-in-place recycling to repave the current road surface. The practice involves pulverizing 2 to 5 inches of the highway's current surface and mixing it with an asphalt emulsion, which McDonald said saves money and time. The same method was used on the Sara-Placid Highway and is considered environmentally friendly because it doesn't waste the old road surface material.

For the second phase, workers will lay down new blacktop. That will last about two weeks, McDonald said.


Contact Chris Morris at 891-2600 ext. 25 or



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