The Town of Newburgh will replace a culvert bridge along Gardnertown Road this summer. The project is expected to close Gardnertown Road between Taft Avenue and Gidney Avenue for about three months, beginning in June.
The detour will lead traffic along Route 300, Route 32 and Gidney Avenue. Gardnertown Road will be restricted to local traffic closer to the construction site, near Gidney Avenue. Local traffic will be able to use a detour route along 5th Avenue, South Plank Road, South Street and West Street.
The 13-foot span crosses over Gidneytown Creek. Traffic was brisk next to the bridge, at the corner of Gardnertown Road and Gidney Avenue on a recent weekday afternoon.
The existing culvert is “severely deteriorated,” according to the town. The culvert was badly damaged in 2011 during Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, which washed out a stone section of the bridge. The span was temporarily reinforced with steel plates following the storm, said town Supervisor Gil Piaquadio.
The project calls for a new, four-sided, buried box culvert. The steel and concrete structure will be partially buried under the creek, so as not to disturb marine life, Piaquadio said. “It will have a durability of 75 years,” he said.
The project will include new railings and the reconstruction of approaches along Gardnertown Road and Gidney Avenue. The engineering firm of Clough, Harbour and Associates will design and oversee construction for the project.
The project is estimated to cost $937,000. Eighty percent of the project is being paid for with funding from the New York State Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration, said Piaquadio. “Twenty percent will come from the town highway budget,” he said.
The town held a public information meeting for the project on Jan. 10. “Some people said they felt the town was doing all this to help the developer of Gardnertown Commons,” the town supervisor said, referring to the housing project under construction nearby on Gardnertown Road. “This rebuilding of the bridge had nothing to do with the developer. It was washed out many years ago and it needs to be replaced.”
Farrell Building Company will install a traffic light at the corner of Gardnertown Road and Gidney Avenue during construction of the housing project, Piaquadio said.
A final design is almost complete for the bridge project, Piaquadio said, but the town still needs to obtain an easement for the north side of the bridge. The town will monitor traffic flow during the road closure this summer, he said.
By SHANTAL RILEY