ARDSLEY, N.Y. – Interim measures to ensure the safety of the Ashford Avenue Bridge were agreed to at a recent meeting of local, county and state officials. A complete rehabilitation of the Ardsley bridge is still scheduled to begin in 2015.
“Engineers from the county and the state have inspected it and will continue to inspect it,” County Executive Robert Astorino said. “At the same time, we have to make sure that the immediate needs of the bridge are addressed and our long-term plan expedited, whenever possible.”
The meeting came weeks after several pieces of concrete fell from the bridge onto the New York State Thruway between Dobbs Ferry and Ardsley. Officials say short-term plans include increasing bridge inspections and adding piers and planking to the underside of the bridge to prevent more concrete from falling on the roadway.
Officials have been planning a $23.4 million bridge rehabilitation project set to end in 2017. County officials say that although expediting the bridge repair is a good idea, a lengthy approval process with village, local, county and state boards makes it difficult to do so.
“The parties will seek to expedite reviews to meet a more aggressive timetable, whenever possible,” Astorino's office said in a press release. “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.”
Engineers from Dobbs Ferry and Ardsley will meet with county engineers next week to discuss the long-term rehabilitation plan. County officials say a working group will meet to keep the project on schedule and address traffic, time or costs concerns.
County Legislator MaryJane Shimsky called on county officials to fast-track interim safety measures after Wednesday's meeting.
“Because of years of past neglect, the concrete on the bridge is crumbling at an accelerated pace,” Shimsky said. “We need to fast-track measures to protect the people below and move quickly on plans for the bridge’s ultimate rehabilitation.”