2017 April 05

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April 2017
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Questions? Need an updated map? Email me andy@andyarthur.org.

Percent of Bridges by Rating in Each County

In New York State, bridge inspectors assess all of a bridge’s individual parts. They are required to evaluate, assign a condition score, and document the condition of up to 47 structural elements, including rating 25 components of each span of a bridge, in addition to general components common to all bridges. The NYSDOT condition rating scale ranges from 1 to 7, with 7 being in new condition and a rating of 5 or greater considered as good condition.

NYSDOT also computes an overall New York State condition rating for each bridge by combining the ratings of individual components using a weighted average formula. This formula assigns greater weights to the ratings of the bridge elements having the greatest structural importance and lesser weights for minor structural and non-structural elements. If a bridge has multiple spans, each element common to the spans is rated and the lowest individual span element rating is used in the condition rating formula.

NYSDOT defines a deficient bridge as one with a State condition rating less than 5.0. A deficient condition rating indicates deterioration at a level that requires corrective maintenance or rehabilitation to restore the bridge to its fully functional, non-deficient condition. It does not mean that the bridge is unsafe.

All bridges also are analyzed for their capacity to carry vehicular loads. Bridges that cannot safely carry heavy vehicles, such as some tractor trailers, are posted with weight limits. Based upon inspection and load capacity analysis, any bridge deemed unsafe gets closed.

Data Source: Bridge Conditions, NYS Department of Transportation. https://data.ny.gov/Transportation/Bridge-Conditions-NYS-Department-of-Transportation/wpyb-cjy8

Google Maps: Average Bridge Rating By Municipality

This map shows the average of bridge ratings for most towns in New York State. Some of the towns are lacking data or did not match when I completed the data join yesterday.

In New York State, bridge inspectors assess all of a bridge’s individual parts. They are required to evaluate, assign a condition score, and document the condition of up to 47 structural elements, including rating 25 components of each span of a bridge, in addition to general components common to all bridges. The NYSDOT condition rating scale ranges from 1 to 7, with 7 being in new condition and a rating of 5 or greater considered as good condition.

NYSDOT also computes an overall New York State condition rating for each bridge by combining the ratings of individual components using a weighted average formula. This formula assigns greater weights to the ratings of the bridge elements having the greatest structural importance and lesser weights for minor structural and non-structural elements. If a bridge has multiple spans, each element common to the spans is rated and the lowest individual span element rating is used in the condition rating formula.

NYSDOT defines a deficient bridge as one with a State condition rating less than 5.0. A deficient condition rating indicates deterioration at a level that requires corrective maintenance or rehabilitation to restore the bridge to its fully functional, non-deficient condition. It does not mean that the bridge is unsafe.

https://www.dot.ny.gov/main/bridgedata

For my April Road Trip this year, I am thinking about going to the North Country. Probably either camp on Conservation Road at Deer River State Forest or maybe the Walter Pratt Campground at Brasher Falls State Forest. The later is somewhat better, as it’s less likely to be muddy or snow covered in April, and it’s a fair bit closer to Massena. More cell service to keep me entertained at night. Deer River would be better in the sense that there are more areas near the campsites with hills and terrain that could be used as backstops while plinking. Maybe hit up some trout spots? It is April, after all.

nycmap $id

My April Road Trip would be quite similar to the trip I took in November 2015 to the Northern Adirondacks, probably fish in Deer River, go up to the Power Project in Massena, maybe do some short hikes in the Adirondacks. Drive back down through the Adirondacks or maybe via the Black River Valley.

nycmap $id

I would like to explore more of the state forests in St. Lawrence County. There is a lot of great land up that way that I’ve mapped and looked at the DEC websites for but have never explored myself. Many people might denounce the land is being flat with a lot of dairy farms – but I suspect it’s actually quite rolling in parts and many of the state forests are quite interesting. Wolf Lake State Forest seems to perk my interest.

nycmap $id

It’s a bit farther then past April Road Trips I’ve done, but it would be fun to get back into this part of the state that I haven’t visited in a few years. I like getting around and seeing different parts of the state, as going to the same location, year after year, gets kind of boring. I’ve only really been up to the North Country (Franklin and St. Lawrence County) twice, so there are a lot left to explore.

Map: Ausable Marsh and Wickwam Marsh

Map: Ausable Marsh and Wickwam Marsh

Ausable Marsh Wildlife Management Area encompasses 660 acres adjacent to Lake Champlain along U.S. Highway Route 9 in the Town of Peru, Clinton County. The land for this management area was acquired in 1950 from the Peru Development Company.

Over thousands of years, water-borne materials have been deposited by the Ausable River at its juncture with Lake Champlain. This has created a fertile delta at the river's mouth which has been utilized by mankind for centuries. Prior to state ownership, the area was used primarily for agriculture and timber harvesting. Today, Ausable Marsh is managed by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) for a variety of recreational and scientific purposes, including: natural resources education, wildlife observation and photography, fishing, trapping, hunting, and canoeing. One of the primary objectives is to provide nesting and feeding habitat to a variety of waterfowl.

http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/24400.html

Structurally Deficient and Functionally Obsolete Bridges in NYS, by County

Bridges are considered “structurally deficient,” according to the FHWA, if significant load carrying elements are found to be in poor or worse condition due to deterioration and/or damage, the bridge has inadequate load capacity, or repeated bridge flooding causes traffic delays. The fact that a bridge is "structurally deficient" does not imply that it is unsafe or likely to collapse.

A "structurally deficient" bridge, when left open to traffic, typically requires significant maintenance and repair to remain in service and eventual rehabilitation or replacement to address deficiencies. In order to remain in service, structurally deficient bridges are often posted with weight limits.

“Functionally obsolete” refers to a bridge’s inability to meet current standards for managing the volume of traffic it carries, not its structural integrity. For example, a bridge may be functionally obsolete if it has narrow lanes, no shoulders, or low clearances.

https://www.dot.ny.gov/main/bridgedata

Data Source: Bridge Conditions, NYS Department of Transportation. https://data.ny.gov/Transportation/Bridge-Conditions-NYS-Department-of-Transportation/wpyb-cjy8

Google County Maps: DEC Region 4 East

Interactive Google Map consisting of federal, state, local, and non-governmental public lands and parks within the following counties in DEC Region 4 East: Albany, Columbia, Greene and Rensselaer counties. Up to 6 additional counties (for a total of ten) can be added to the map. Data can be downloaded as KML and GPX Tracks and Waypoints for use in Google Earth or handheld GPS units.

Updated March 27, 2017. Latest update fixes trail data in the Eastern Catskill Park, adds trail data for State Parks.

Google Maps: Industrial Electricity Consumers Cents Per Kw/hr – January 2017

New York has some of the most expensive residential electricity in the country. But thanks to Niagara Falls and the Robert Moses Dam in Massena on the St. Lawrence River, our state has some of the cheapest power in the nation for industrial plants -- who often get discounted hydropower through the Power for Jobs and Recharge NY programs. Industrial consumers only paid 5.97 cents per kilowatt hour in New York -- much lower Penna's 6.96 cents, Indiana's 7.35 cents, Michigan's 7.38 cents and Ohio's 6.58 cents.

Data Source: Table 5.6.A. Average Price of Electricity to Ultimate Customers by End-Use Sector, by State, January 2017 and 2016 (Cents per Kilowatthour).
https://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.cfm?t=epmt_5_06_a