Assemblymember Ellen Jaffee (D-Suffern) last week announced she helped secure $500,000 in additional state funding to help the Town of Orangetown pay for construction of the new Oak Tree Road Bridge, which will help reduce flooding, keep drivers safer and lower the cost of the project for local taxpayers.
Jaffee was joined by Orangetown Supervisor Andy Stewart; Deputy Town Supervisor, Allan Ryff; Superintendent of Highways, James Dean; Tappan resident, Claudia Stephany and Peppe Pinton, owner of Il Portico Restaurant in Tappan.
Jaffee said, “The historic Oak Tree Bridge was built over the flood prone Sparkill Creek. The bridge is one of the oldest in Rockland and in need of replacement. It is an important investment in public safety and infrastructure.”
The old bridge promotes flooding, Jaffee explained. According to Dean the new design will significantly increase the height of the bridge reducing volume throughput of the creek thereby reducing flooding to only exceptional events like Hurricane Sandy.
“I’m very grateful to Assemblywoman Jaffee for securing half a million dollars in state funding to help Orangetown pay for the construction of the much-needed new Oak Tree Road bridge,” said Orangetown Supervisor Andy Stewart. “The current bridge is extremely old and outdated. Its replacement will be safer for drivers, and I appreciate the infusion of state funds to help alleviate the cost to local taxpayers,” Stewart added.
“The bridge is located just around the corner from my home and it will be such a pleasure not to have to be rerouted every time it rains and floods the surrounding streets. That most especially holds true for the Rockland Coach bus lines going to and from the city that stop at the 76 House Bus Stop. No more delays! What a blessing this will be most especially for those who commute,” Stephany said.
Construction on the new bridge is expected to begin in early November, said Dean.