Historic Wurts Street Bridge to receive $37 million rebuild


KINGSTON – The Wurts Street Bridge over the Rondout Creek serving
the Kingston and Esopus communities will receive a $37 million reconstruction
thanks to the efforts of Assemblyman Kevin Cahill (D-Kingston).

The money was placed in the state’s transportation budget for fiscal
year 2016-17.

The two-lane structure with one lane in each direction plus a pedestrian
walkway is the only suspension bridge operated and maintained by the state
Department of Transportation and is a significant vehicular and pedestrian
link for residents of the area, Cahill noted.

Cahill credited the late Esopus Town Supervisor John Coutant and incumbent
Supervisor Diana McCord with pushing for the major renovations and upgrades.

The almost 100-year-old bridge was built in 1921 and replaced a chain-driven
“Skillypot” ferry first installed by the Dutch in the late
17th century. It is believed to be the method by which a teenaged Sojourner
Truth crossed the creek to bring run and supplies back to her slave master.

The remodeling work is expected to begin in 2018 during which time Cahill
said it is more than likely that the bridge would be shut down.

Kingston Mayor Steven Noble did not respond to a request for comment about
the financial award for the bridge project.


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