Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $11,875,000 in federal funds to upgrade and enhance the resiliency of select bridges over flood-prone waters in order to protect them against threats from future, repeated flooding. These funds, allocated through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) to the New York State Department of Transportation, will cover 100 percent of the cost for the projects.
These federal funds to the NY State Department of Transportation will be used to facilitate construction upgrades to four bridges, selected based on foundation type, susceptibility to scour and small openings which compromises the integrity of the structure. The two Intervale Bridges located on NY Route 73 over the West Branch Ausable River in Essex County will have a combined federal share of $7,250,000. The remaining funding will go towards two bridges in Greene County; the Beaches Corner Bridge located on NY Route 296 over East Kill in the Town of Windham will receive $2,125,000 and another bridge in the Town of Lexington on NY Route 42 over Westkill Creek will receive $2,500,000.
“It is not enough to simply rebuild and repair after a significant flood; we must also prepare ourselves for the next storm and the next potential flood,” said Senator Schumer. “These much-needed federal funds will help these communities in Greene and Essex Counties scour their flood-prone bridges and upgrade surrounding structures to be more resilient in the face of future storms. Spending a penny today on flood-prevention efforts could save the federal government and local homeowners a dollar tomorrow in repair costs.”
“This critical funding will provide resources to help strengthen our transportation infrastructure in Essex and Greene Counties,” said Senator Gillibrand. “These funds will help safeguard our bridges against flooding and allow for critical repairs to keep commuters and communities safe. We need more investment in our roads and bridges and I will continue to push for funding to help ensure we are better prepared for when the next storm hits.”
“The replacement of the Intervale Bridges over the West Branch of the Ausable River is essential to the continuation of Lake Placid’s economic growth and sports activities. Some 70 % of all visitors and competitors use this travel corridor,” said Roby Politi, Supervisor of the town of North Elba. “We want to thank Senator Gillibrand for her diligent efforts in recognizing the importance of this infrastructure transformation which is imperative for access to our Olympic Ski Jumping Park and other Olympic venues.”
FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program provides funding under Section 404 of the Robert T. Stafford Act, the federal disaster law that supplies aid to states and localities to implement long-term resiliency measures after a major disaster. The purpose of these grants is to reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters and to enable mitigation measures to be implemented during the immediate recovery from a disaster.