ROADS/BRIDGES: New York State DOT knock out list of FEMA endorsed bridge replacements

April 20, 2015

NYSDOT in partnership with other agencies to address bridge issue comprehensively

The New York State Department of Transportation and other agencies have begun work on a $15.6 million project to replace seven bridges in the town of Keene that are at risk from flood scouring, part of 80 bridges approved so far for replacement by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the Keene-area project April 8, and said those seven bridges in Essex County are among the first under contract as part of the state's Scour Critical/Flood Prone Bridge Program. The Keene area was hit hard by Hurricane Irene in 2011.

Last month, Cuomo had announced a $6.5 million project to replace two bridges in Genesee County, under that same program. In all, Cuomo has requested FEMA funding to strengthen 105 bridges at risk in extreme weather, in a construction program valued at $518 million. The 80 bridges already approved have construction funding of $278.4 million, and the governor's office said funding approval for the remaining 25 bridges is anticipated this spring.

“Replacing these bridges is another way that we are building back stronger in the wake of severe weather,” Cuomo said. “By moving forward with these replacements, we are strengthening critical infrastructure in the region and better preparing our communities for extreme storms in the future.”

The initial project at Keene will improve safety by replacing the bridges, the governor's announcement said, including adding steel and concrete pile foundations. It will increase waterway openings to improve each structure's resiliency to severe weather events and harden the infrastructure for the future. This work is also expected to reduce the potential for flooding on the bridges and the adjoining roadway. The bridges will be replaced during this year and in 2016.

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