Route 73 construction project nears completion

Route 73 (Photo provided)

To the editor:

I have the pleasure, as many of us do, to travel the beautiful state Route 73 through the Cascade Lakes from our home in Saranac Lake to my real estate office in Keene Valley.

The $8.3 million project to replace concrete barriers and guard rails along the three parts of state Route 73 in Keene and North Elba with see-through railings, is close to completion after many months of grueling work.

While the three or so traffic lights or flaggers can take time to get through, the benefits of the wait were such a joy no matter what direction of travel. Some of the most scenic drives in North Country! Wild winds blasting down the canyon, the fall colors, the waterfalls in the summer, the icefalls in the winter, the wilderness of it all is always so inspiring.

For many weeks, I’ve been endeavoring to write a short piece with photographs of the construction crew to thank them for all their work. This is a tough engineering project that must be completed in all weathers.

It is, sadly, very rare to read about the vital work of our construction crews, linemen, etc. as they go about keeping our essential infrastructure up and running.

I had spoken with Chris Cronin, the engineer on site. Chris has the great fortune to stay at the fabulous AuSable Inn in Keene Valley for the duration of the project. We met a couple of times in the bar at the end of his day, (the Hungarian mushroom soup is superb as is all the other dishes we tried). Chris referred me to the engineer in charge, Kazi Azul, who subsequently said I would need to call the state Department of Transportation, which I did. The DOT suggested I call the contractors of record, which I should have done in the beginning!

I only wanted a group photograph with some verbiage on the story of the project and its attendant challenges. I’m not a journalist, just a grateful private citizen.

Absent any of the above, I want to acknowledge on behalf of myself and all the other travelers, our gratitude to the Luck Brothers team for their excellent engineering, hard work and making this former treacherous road so much safer. Thank you!

David J. Rasmussen

Saranac Lake


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