Once again, a highway in Albany is giving the transportation department some work -- not a bad boost for the economy, I suppose.  Two, 10-foot long cracks were discovered in both pier cap beams in the multi-lane highway known as the South Mall Expressway.  You know the beams that support the roadway -- yikes!  These lanes lead to the Dunn Memorial Bridge and will cause quite a traffic detour for commuters who use that roadway to get to work each day. 

The cracks were discovered Tuesday afternoon.  Repair crews have been on the scene since and will be doing emergency work on these structural blemishes at least until the end of July.  Both directions will be closed. 

Here is what the Times Union said about detours for anyone worried about traffic and alternate routes:

The Dunn Memorial Bridge remains open, but there is no access to the bridge from the expressway.

Wednesday morning rush hour traffic was badly congested westbound from Rensselaer into Albany.

Motorists can use I-787 north and southbound from both Rensselaer and the Empire State Plaza. Drivers wanting to get to Rensselaer from Empire State Plaza should take I-787 north to Interstate 90 and the Patroon Island Bridge.

Motorists also may take I-787 south to Exit 2 for South Pearl Street and the Port of Albany. They should then re-enter I-787 north and exit at Exit 3 for Route 9 south, Route 20 east and Rensselaer, heading to the Dunn Memorial Bridge and Rensselaer.

Signs for alternate routes are posted in the area of the closure.

14,000 motorists commute over the South Mall Expressway daily.  The The president of the New York State Chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America, Michael Elmendorf, states that because funds have been severely misappropriated in the State's Dedicated Highway and Bridge Fund, this is just part of a crisis of the state's transportation infrastructure.  There just aren't enough resources to repair roads and bridges that are in need of repair.

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