June 21, 2017
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces Completion of Historic Beaverkill Covered Bridge Rehabilitation Project

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 Reopening Bridge Improves Convenience, Safety and Mobility over Renowned Fly Fishing Stream

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the reopening of the historic Beaverkill Covered Bridge on Campsite Road in the town of Rockland, Sullivan County. A $2.6 million project rehabilitated the aging structure, located within the state-owned Beaverkill Campground, to improve safety and access for vehicles and pedestrians.

"The Beaverkill Covered Bridge is a unique connection that carries travelers across the creek, allowing visitors to enjoy fishing, camping and other outdoor activities along the stream," Governor Cuomo said. "Restoring this treasure to its original charm will draw even more visitors who can experience the attractions and the natural beauty that Sullivan County has to offer."

Extensive repairs were made to the one-lane bridge, including full replacement of the timber decking, roofing and siding, and replacement of selected floor beams, roof rafters and support members as necessary. The abutment on the eastern side of the bridge was reconstructed to replicate the original stone approach ramp. The western abutment was resurfaced with stone from the eastern approach ramp in order to replicate the original stone wall appearance. As part of the project, a walkway underneath the bridge – located between the eastern pier and abutment – was widened. One of the bridge piers was repaired.

New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Matthew J. Driscoll said, "The Beaverkill Covered Bridge is a valuable part of Sullivan County’s transportation infrastructure system and is integral to maintaining full access within the Beaverkill Campground. I thank Governor Cuomo for pulling together a team of state agencies, affected organizations and community partners to ensure this bridge was upgraded in a way that improved safety while maintaining its classic charm."

The bridge will no longer close during winter months, maintaining year round access for vehicles and pedestrians, with a three-ton limit. Beaverkill Campground is owned by the State Department of Environmental Conservation, which provided funding for the rehabilitation project. The bridge links the main campsite to a shower area and day-use picnic space.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "For more than 150 years, the iconic Beaverkill Covered Bridge has carried avid anglers and outdoor enthusiasts from around the world into the heart of the legendary Catskill Mountains in pursuit of some of the most spectacular fly fishing and camping experiences the world has to offer. Governor Cuomo recognizes the importance of preserving this special piece of New York’s history and is committed to helping carry on these rich traditions for future generations to enjoy."

NYSDOT worked closely with the NYSDEC, State Historic Preservation Office, and John H. Adams, co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council and chair of the Open Space Institute Board of Trustees, as well as with Friends of Beaverkill Community, Sullivan County and the town of Rockland in order to comprehensively address the bridge’s structural needs while restoring its historic character.

Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation Commissioner Rose Harvey said, "The Beaverkill Covered Bridge is an irreplaceable Catskill landmark. The partnership’s work to preserve and improve this beloved bridge will surely enhance the experience of visitors who come from all over to explore this scenic and historic region of New York."

Erik Kulleseid, Open Space Institute Senior Vice President said, "The restoration of the Beaverkill Covered Bridge preserves one of the Catskill’s most beloved historic landmarks and maintains the character of the river and the landscape that surrounds it. OSI is proud of our efforts to support this important project and grateful to our partners, the Friends of the Beaverkill Community. Thanks also to Governor Cuomo and the state Departments of Environmental Conservation and Transportation for their skilled and coordinated expertise in the success of this project."

The Beaverkill Covered Bridge was built in 1865 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. New York State was once home to more than 250 covered bridges. Today, only 31 remain.
 
Work on the project started in the summer of 2015.

Senator John Bonacic said, "I want to thank all the stakeholders involved in the restoration of this iconic bridge, and the hard work that went into completing it. Because of their dedication and perseverance, residents of Sullivan County will be able to enjoy this beautiful bridge for years to come."

Assemblymember Aileen Gunther said, "The Beaverkill Covered Bridge is a historic gem that facilitates all the natural enjoyments the Catskills have to offer, including camping, fishing and hiking. Thank you to Governor Cuomo and the State Department of Transportation for their dedication to restoring a bridge that is vital to the character, history and well-being of Sullivan County."

Sullivan County Chairman Luis Alvarez said, "The Beaverkill Covered Bridge has been an important transportation link in one of Sullivan County’s most bucolic and beautiful regions for a century and a half, and thanks to the diligent efforts of New York State and its Department of Transportation, this historic structure will continue to serve both residents and visitors for decades to come. Notably, both its functionality and its grace have been preserved and improved, and I am proud to have such a fine example of the State’s ongoing investment in our infrastructure."

Town of Rockland Supervisor Robert Eggleston said, "The historic value of the Beaverkill Covered Bridge is priceless – it’s one of our most important connections to the past. It allows a chance to escape back in time and appreciate the quality of such a beautiful area in the Catskills."

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