Friday, October 30, 2009

Stuyvesant: Worth Fixing?

Supervisor Bertram's "update" on the Schoolhouse Road Bridge still leaves us with questions.

Too expensive to fix?
Of course it's expensive. We can't fix it alone, and we're not suggesting that the town do that. We need help. We get help every year for each of our 27 miles of roadway.
Assemblyman Tim Gordon offered to help the town apply for stimulus money this spring. Councilwoman Roz Gumaer hand carried an application to Town Hall. Supervisor Bertram declined to complete it. 

Too expensive not to fix?
Farmers need this bridge. Commuters need it. Delivery trucks need it. Ambulances need it.

Why was the bridge project not shovel-ready?
The bridge was closed two years ago! Why no progress? Other towns received millions in stimulus funds. Nothing for Stuyvesant.

What would the maintenance costs be for the town?
Minimal! Engineer Prof. Robert Clark tells us that pre-fab bridges are virtually maintenance-free for 50-75 years. The Highway department was already paving it. What else is there? What's the problem?

What is the impact of the closed bridge?
Longer travel times for residents to work or the grocery store and for farmers to market and fields. Ichabod Crane school buses turn around on Rt. 9J at peak drive times. Residents continue to raise questions about emergency response times.

Is it better to be proactive than to make excuses?
We think so, especially since stimulus money is OUR money. Other towns have received stimulus grants for road and bridge repair, with no match required.

CSX does not depend on the bridge, but many Stuyvesant residents do!