Tappan Bridge Project gets Public Hearing

Nov.13 Presentation at Town Board

A special presentation will be made to the Orangetown Town Board on Tuesday, Nov. 13 on the status of a replacement bridge and flood mitigation project along Oak Tree Road in downtown Tappan.

The public information session is expected to begin about 7:30 p.m. in the courtroom of the Orangetown Town Hall at 26 Orangeburg Road in Orangeburg, according to town Highway Superintendent James Dean, who will lead the presentation at the start of a regular business meeting of the Town Council.

Dean says the project involves replacement of the narrow stone and concrete bridge that currently carries Oak Tree Road over the Sparkill Creek. In addition to replacing the bridge with a more modern and sturdier structure, the project will attempt to mitigate flooding in the area caused by the meandering Sparkill Creek, which flows from Blauvelt south through Orangeburg, Sparkill and Tappan before exiting the county into the Hudson River in Piermont, just south of the Piermont Pier.

Joining Dean at the presentation Tuesday will be officials from McLaren Engineering, the private firm which has been hired to lead the Bridge Design Consultant Team, along with Orangetown’s own Highway Department and the town’s Departments of Environmental Management and Engineering (DEME) and Parks and Recreation.

The public is invited to attend the presentation, as well as the regular business meeting of the Town Board that will follow. Dean says the presentation should be of particular interest to residents of the Tappan area, including its downtown historic district, since that section of the town will be directly affected by the project.

Along with a description of the work to be done on both the bridge and the stream, he says the presentation will outline a time schedule and cost projections, along with information on how the project will be funded.

In other business at the same meeting, the Town Board may vote on adopting a 2013 annual budget, if it was unable to accomplish that feat at a special meeting last night (Wed., Nov.7). By state law, the Town Board must adopt a final budget by Nov. 20. The five-member council has been wrestling for the past six months on a budget figure for next year, while also wrestling with keeping the property tax increase below a state-mandated two percent.


As of last week, they had whittled a projected 15% tax hike to a 9.19% increase, and then further reduced it to about 7%. Fearing they could not meet the state’s 2% figure, however, the board voted in October to exceed that cap, which required a “supermajority” vote of 4-1 instead of the normal 3-2 majority to pass.