County, local, state and federal officials met Wednesday to address both the short-term and long-term needs of the Ashford Avenue Bridge, County Executive Robert Astorino said in a statement Thursday.
, striking at least six vehicles and causing the closure of the bridge and the NY State Thruway beneath for a number of hours that Friday night.
But even before the alarming incident, the Westchester-county-owned bridge had been the focus of a $23.4 million rehabilitation project that officials planned to have completed in 2017.
That date may now be moved up.
Officials from the County Executive’s office, Ardsley and Dobbs Ferry, the County Board of Legislators and state and federal governments met to discuss bridge safety and come to an agreement on how and when the bridge would be inspected.
According to the statement Astorino released Thursday, officials agreed to the following conditions:
- The county Department of Public Works and Transportation will finalize a contract to address the immediate rehabilitation needs of the bridge. This will include some work on the piers and planking.
- The county will increase frequency of its inspections of the bridge, hoping to preclude a repeat of the June incident.
- All parties will remain focused on expediting the long-term $23.4 million capital project for rehabilitation of the bridge. This project, in the works for several years with construction slated to begin in 2015, involves many approvals from the villages, the county, the state and the federal government. The parties will seek to expedite reviews to meet a more aggressive timetable, whenever possible. The New York State Department of Transportation, for example, committed to completing its review of some documents by Aug. 1, two months ahead of the current schedule.
- A working group will meet on a monthly basis to keep the project on schedule and to try to address traffic concerns to residents of Ardsley and Dobbs Ferry in a manner that does not compromise the project’s timeline or add costs.
- Engineers from the two villages will meet next week with county engineers to discuss specifics of the long-term rehabilitation plan. They will meet on a regular basis.
- The group requested of the federal and state officials present that if further government funds become available, this project be strongly considered.
In addition to Astorino County Legislators MaryJane Shimsky and Catherine Borgia, those in attendance at Wednesday’s meeting included Ardsley Mayor Peter Porcino, Dobbs Ferry Mayor Hartley Connett, Assemblyman Tom Abinanti and representatives of Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Rep. Nita Lowey, state Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins, as well as officials from the state Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration New York Division Office.