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BCW Joins with TRIP to highlight need for bridge repairs in the Hudson Valley

Thirteen percent of bridges in the Hudson Valley are rated in poor condition, according to a study released by TRIP this week at a press conference with the Business Council of Westchester.

The study by the Washington, DC based national transportation research nonprofit highlighted the need for repairs to bridges in Columbia, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Ulster and Westchester Counties.

The nine most heavily traveled bridges in the Hudson Valley that are poor or structurally deficient are in Westchester and Rockland, TRIP said.

John Ravitz, executive vice president and COO of the Business Council of Westchester, said that the BCW hosted the press conference with TRIP to encourage the state to make the safety of roads and bridges a top priority.

“As Westchester County’s only business membership organization focusing on economic development and advocacy, we continue to urge Albany and Washington to make infrastructure funding a top priority,” said Ravitz.  “It is imperative for those of us who are recruiting businesses to come to Westchester that we make a strong case that our roads, bridges and overpasses are safe for their employees to travel on a daily basis.”

The TRIP report, Preserving Hudson Valley Bridges: The Condition and Funding Needs of Hudson Valley’s Aging Bridge System,” finds that in the Hudson Valley, 329 of the 2,551 bridges are rated in poor/structurally deficient condition –13 percent. Hudson Valley bridges that are poor/structurally deficient carry 2,552,156 vehicles per day.  Poor/structurally deficient bridges may be posted for lower weight limits or closed if their condition warrants such action. Deteriorated bridges can have a significant impact on daily life. Restrictions on vehicle weight may cause many vehicles – especially emergency vehicles, commercial trucks, school buses and farm equipment – to use alternate routes to avoid weight-restricted bridges. Redirected trips also lengthen travel time, waste fuel and reduce the efficiency of the local economy.

Sixty-four percent (1,634 of 2,551) of locally and state-maintained bridges in the Hudson Valley have been rated in fair condition.  A fair rating indicates that a bridge’s structural elements are sound, but minor deterioration has occurred to the bridge’s deck, substructure or superstructure. The remaining 23 percent (588 of 2,551) of the area’s bridges are rated in good condition.

Statewide, ten percent (1,757 of 17,521) of bridges are rated poor/structurally deficient, while 53 percent (9,364 of 17,521) are rated in fair condition and the remaining 37 percent (6,400 of 17,521) are in good condition.

Westchester is taking steps to prioritize bridge repairs. County legislators voted Monday to approve almost $37 million in design and construction work to bridges, mostly on the county-owned Bronx River Parkway.

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