Saturday, December 8, 2018

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A decade later Prospect Hill Road Bridge reopens

TOWN OF SOUTHEAST – It’s taken a decade but construction on the Prospect Hill Road Bridge in Southeast is finally completed and the bridge has reopened to vehicular and pedestrian traffic.


Construction of the new bridge took over a decade

In the spring of 2017, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority agreed to expend $9.5 million to rebuild the old bridge when the MTA Board of Directors approved a contract with an engineering and construction firm to replace the 270 foot span which was built in 1910.

The last vehicle crossed the bridge in the summer of 2007. Detour signs were erected at Route 312 across from the Tilly Foster Farm and on North Main Street in Brewster advising motorists of the ‘temporary’ closing.

When the economy crisis ravaged the Empire State, Metro-North abandoned plans for its repair and/or replacement.

Over the years, residents complained about a “degrading of quality of life” due to the closure. School buses have been forced to make circuitous routes in order to pick up children bound for the Brewster district. Emergency responders have complained about adding time to reach destinations throughout Southeast in time of fire or EMS response.

Metro-North officials explained that the first element of reconstruction involved the demolition of the current bridge, its roadway approaches and abutments. Trees, shrubs, stumps and rubbish were also removed along with utility poles.

The railroad worked with Southeast officials realizing the span is a key component of the town’s infrastructure.

Supervisor Tony Hay said the bridge’s absence proved “how important the span is towards the vitality of greater Brewster.”

On Friday, when the bridge reopened to traffic, Hay rejoiced. “Santa has come early to Southeast. A wish of many of our residents has come true. The once rickety bridge is now a solid structure reopening a vital link between two sides of our township.”

County Executive MaryEllen Odell also praised the construction. “The news is very exciting since the reopening of the bridge represents the importance of investing in infrastructure not only for quality of life issues but the wellness of residents. I am pleased that partners such as Metro-North share our values and thank the MTA leadership for its partnership and hard work in making this become reality.”

The bridge connects Prospect Hill Road off Route 312 to North Main Street serving as a secondary passageway from Brewster Village to the I-84 corridor.

 


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