New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced the completion of three new bridges in the Essex Chain Lakes Complex in the towns of Newcomb and Minerva, Essex County.
The bridges provide safer public motor vehicle access to the Essex Chain Lakes Primitive Area and sections of the Blue Mountain Wild Forest, and are accessible from the end of mud season to first snowfall.
The three bridges, Woody’s Road Bridge, Cornell Road #1 Crossing, and Deer Pond Road Bridge, replace structures originally built by Finch, Pruyn and Company Inc. prior to New York State’s purchase and easement acquisition of the former Finch Lands. These new bridges were designed to current New York State Department of Transportation standards and can accommodate use by heavy trucks and equipment associated with timber harvesting and sustainable forest management on nearby conservation easement lands. The total cost for the bridges was approximately $500,000, supported by the Environmental Project Fund.
The design of each new bridge incorporates a more natural watercourse opening that is expected to improve flow. The channels had previously been narrowed by abutments from the original bridge construction.
The 19,600-acre Essex Chain Lakes Complex is comprised of the lands and waters of the Essex Chain Lakes Primitive Area, the Pine Lake Primitive Area, and the recently classified portions of the Blue Mountain Wild Forest. Located in the central Adirondacks, the complex contains the eight lakes of the Essex Chain and several other ponds and lakes. The Hudson River forms its eastern boundary, making it a popular paddling location.