Work begins on Route 17B bridge project

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TOWN OF THOMPSON – The New York State Department of Transportation announced that work has begun on a $6.4 million project to replace a bridge carrying State Route 17B over the Mongaup River in the town of Thompson and a culvert carrying Route 17B over Creamery Brook in the town of Bethel, both in Sullivan County. The new structures will have two 12-foot wide lanes and two 12-foot wide shoulders to safely accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists.

“We designed this project not only to replace aging infrastructure, but to build a safer community with room for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians,” said Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez. “We planned the construction schedule carefully to keep traffic moving during the busy tourist season and to maintain access to local businesses.”

Route 17B provides a main route through both small towns, connecting residents to businesses, churches and the Bethel Woods Performing Arts Center.

On Route 17B over Creamery Brook, preliminary site work to construct a two-lane on-site temporary detour adjacent to the culvert will begin in early July and be completed after Labor Day. In addition to the normal uptick in traffic during the summer tourism season, the town of Bethel is expecting increased traffic this season for the Woodstock 50th anniversary weekend on August 16 through 18. No work impacting traffic flow will occur on those days. Construction work will be coordinated with the town and Bethel Woods Performing Arts Center to ensure traffic flow is maintained during other large events.

During the next phase of the project, construction on Route 17B over the Mongaup River will begin in 2020. A temporary bridge will be built on the north side of the existing bridge to carry traffic during construction. Work is expected to be substantially complete and the new bridge opened to traffic by the end of 2020.