September 13, 2016
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces Completion of Bridge Replacements on Route 39 in Erie County

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces Completion of Bridge...

$2.8 Million Project Will Strengthen Bridge Resiliency Against Storm Flooding And Bridge Scour

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the completion of a $2.8 million infrastructure project that included replacing the Route 39 Bridge over Cattaraugus Creek Branch in the town of Sardinia, Erie County. The Route 39 Bridge project was one of the first launched under the New York State Scour Critical/Flood Prone bridge program. The Governor secured funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to strengthen 105 bridges through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

"Strong infrastructure is essential to the safety of travelers and it's the foundation for economic growth," said Governor Cuomo. "By updating and replacing aging infrastructure and strengthening the state's bridges to withstand extreme weather, we are investing in the security of our motorists and taking proactive steps to strengthen this state's transportation network to meet the needs of current and future generations of New Yorkers."

Built in 1932, the Route 39 Bridge over Cattaraugus Creek Branch, located adjacent to the intersection of Route 39 at Fisher Road, carries an average of 2011 vehicles each day. To ensure the safety of all motorists, this project replaced the aging bridge to improve water flow, prevent future scour and flooding, and provide a 75-year minimum service life.

The project also included the replacement of the Route 39 Bridge over Otis Creek located west of the intersection of Route 39 at Van Slyke Road, and the rehabilitation of the Route 39 Bridge over Dresser Creek located one mile east of Hake Road in Sardinia. Those bridges were completed in 2015.

New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Matthew J. Driscoll said, "Governor Cuomo has made the replacement of our most vulnerable bridges a priority. The Governor's commitment to replacing bridges across New York State, including the three bridges completed on Route 39, will improve safety and mobility for the community for decades to come."

In June 2013, Governor Cuomo announced a call for projects to be funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Grant Program to assist local governments and non-profit organizations in restoring infrastructure for stronger, more sustainable communities.

As a result, an unprecedented collaboration between the State's Department of Transportation, Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, and Governor's Office of Storm Recovery led to the establishment of the $518 million Scour Critical/Flood Prone bridge program - putting New York State at the forefront of innovative flood recovery and mitigation initiatives. The Scour Critical/Flood Prone bridge program protects and strengthens critical infrastructure routes across New York State, assuring transportation access in emergencies and enhancing mobility for continued economic growth.

Authorized by FEMA, the Scour Critical/Flood Prone bridge program aims to enhance the resiliency of 105 bridges statewide to reduce the risks of loss and damage associated with future weather-related disasters. The bridges were identified by the State Department of Transportation as the most at-risk for repeated flooding with a focus on structures in the Capital Region, Long Island, Mid-Hudson, Mohawk Valley, North Country, Finger Lakes and Southern Tier regions.

All of the bridges included in this program were built to the codes and standards of their time and remain safe and open for everyday traffic. Due to the increasing number of severe weather events, however, they are vulnerable to scour or flooding caused by the intensity and velocity of water. Bridge scour erodes and carries away foundation materials, such as sand and rocks, from around and beneath bridge abutments, piers, foundations and embankments.

Upgrading these bridges will ensure access to emergency services during and after flood events and reduce the risk of flooding where bridge openings cause rivers and streams to back up. Completion of this program will reduce the potential for highway travel delays during heavy rains and floods, and afford residents of communities across the state continued access to critical lifesaving services in the event of an emergency.

Senator Patrick M. Gallivan said, "Continued investment in our roads and bridges is critical. These new bridges replace aging spans and will help prevent future flooding in the area while improving traffic flow and safety for both motorists and pedestrians."

County Executive Mark Poloncarz said, "Governor Cuomo's efforts to provide safe, modern bridges across New York are to be commended and dovetail with our own efforts here in Erie County. Aging, weakened bridges are a hazard and need to be rehabilitated and replaced wherever they are in order to provide motorists with safe, modern structures to facilitate road travel. We are working at all levels of government to provide the improved infrastructure our residents demand and expect."

Town of Sardinia Supervisor Beverly Gambino said, "The Route 39 bridge projects that have taken place over the last several summers have greatly improved the infrastructure in Sardinia. Route 39 is one of the main roads to travel across in the Southern Tier in Erie County. It is a great feeling to be recognized and awarded with these projects and to be the first under contract as part of New York State's Scour Critical/Flood Prone bridge program. The Town has received many compliments on the new bridges and the new signage. The Town of Sardinia and its residents send Governor Cuomo a huge Thank you for taking an interest in securing the funding for these projects and in recognizing our little area of the great state of New York."

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