Environmentally-Friendly Bridge Project Raises Roadway and Eliminates Closures Caused by Flooding
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Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that work is complete on a $23.6 million project to replace the State Route 28 bridge over the Esopus Creek in the Hamlet of Mount Tremper, Town of Shandaken, Ulster County. The project, completed on time and on budget, used innovative and sustainable engineering practices to raise and replace the bridge, and maintain traffic flow on this critical transportation link to the Catskills for residents, tourists and commerce, especially during major storm events.
"As we continue to recover from the pandemic, more and more New Yorkers and tourists are seeking outdoor activities, especially in areas like beautiful Ulster County," Governor Hochul said. "This project maintains uninterrupted access to fishing sites, hiking trails and other area destinations and is yet another example of progressing infrastructure projects while holding to our duty to create a more resilient and sustainable New York."
The wider 800' bridge, replacing the 336' bridge built in 1966, was realigned slightly to the south of the current location with a clearance five feet higher than the original bridge, reducing the potential for flooding and minimizing the risk of bridge scour. The larger bridge opening allows for wildlife to cross safely under the bridge, reducing wildlife-vehicle collisions and protecting wildlife populations. With wider shoulders, the new roadway enhances the experience for bicyclists utilizing this bike route through the Catskill Mountains.
The project included the realignment of the State Route 212 and State Route 28 intersection, approximately 250 feet to the west. Embankment materials below the old bridge approaches were recycled and used to raise portions of Route 212 above flood elevation. Additionally, a new culvert now carries a small stream under the relocated roadway.
To keep with the rural aesthetics of the community, NYSDOT landscape architects implemented a plan for landscaping and general aesthetics, which included approximately 124 tree plantings, wildflower seeding and 300 live cuttings throughout the stream corridor.
Significant input was considered from the public and local officials during the project's development and construction. The redesigned bridge and intersection will allow for future recreation in the area, including fishing access to the creek.
Ground-breaking techniques utilized in this project by DOT include model-based digital contracting as a method of project delivery, reducing and eliminating plan sheets and better relaying "design intent" to the contractor. As the Department builds for the future, leveraging technology and eliminating waste enhances our environment while growing our future economy.
Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, "This project embodies resiliency in transportation infrastructure. The Esopus Creek was prone to flooding and road closures - impacting the environment as well as the transportation network. This completed project enhances mobility and connectivity on Route 28 and helps sustain the stream bed corridor, especially during extreme weather events. It is another great example of how New York's smart transportation investments are utilizing technology and design to better deliver projects, while creating a more resilient and climate-resistant infrastructure."
State Senator Peter Oberacker said, "A sound infrastructure is crucial to public safety and economic development. This bridge replacement, constructed with recent flooding events in mind, ensures that a key component of our highway system connecting Ulster and Delaware counties will remain passable. The use of new 3D modeling technology to design this bridge will serve as a winning blueprint for future projects across the state."
Assemblymember Kevin Cahill said, "As Governor Kathy Hochul and the Department of Transportation continue to accelerate investments in our local infrastructure, the critical need that exists on the Route 28 corridor is not forgotten. This highway, that brings travelers from the Hudson Valley to deep into the western Catskills, crosses the meandering Esopus Creek several times. Without proper upkeep, each crossing presents a potential for cutting off whole populations if extreme weather threatens the integrity of a bridge. This is not theoretical, but remembered by many after the dramatic storms of the last few decades. That is why the State Legislature appropriated the necessary funds to keep these thoroughfares intact. I applaud my colleagues, the DOT and Governor Hochul for putting safety first and advancing this essential infrastructure project."
Ulster County Executive Patrick Ryan said, "I want to thank Governor Hochul and the Department of Transportation for investing in critical infrastructure in Ulster County. This project, completed on time and on budget, is a huge win for Shandakenand Ulster County at large. These types of investments will help both our residents and the many people who visit our community and support our local small businesses."
Town of Shandaken Supervisor Robert Stanley said, "The Town of Shandaken is grateful for the timely completion of this transformative and necessary project. We were happy to work with many partners, the NYS DOT and contractors to include elements to provide multi-generational resiliency for many of our community's residents and their homes while also providing a more secure route during and immediately following high water events that have plagued our community. This is a life line corridor and it provides security along with the homes and lives being further protected against flooding of the Esopus Creek is immeasurable for ours and other Catskill Mountain communities along the Route 28 corridor. Thank you New York State."
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