I was pleased to have played a role in arranging ongoing meetings between the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT), local officials and community leaders together which resulted in the recent opening of the James A. Farley Memorial Bridge, well ahead of schedule. This was originally planned as a three year project. However, I successfully was able to move the process forward during several meetings DOT leadership. These efforts resulted in a commitment to work towards building the bridge in approximately one year. After this agreement, the process moved rapidly forward.
As anticipated, there was inconvenience to many during the various phases of construction. But the community understood that building this bridge was a priority and they cooperated with all aspects of this project. The community remained patient for one solid year, enduring one year of traffic pain versus the original alternative of three years of construction, which most certainly would have included the pain of intermittent traffic rerouting.
I want to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to the contractor for expediting work efforts on this very important project, thereby enabling the bridge to be opened to traffic. I also want to thank the community, including residents and individual businesses for putting up with the inconvenience caused by construction.
It was refreshing to see government working cooperatively with the community. I particularly want to salute New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Regional Director for the Hudson Valley, Joan Dupont for her leadership. Special praise also needs to go to Stony Point Supervisor Phil Marino and Haverstraw Supervisor Howard Phillips for their cooperation and patience in working with all those involved with this complex project. As a result of this spirit of patience and cooperation this bridge replacement will help keep our Hudson Valley communities connected and will strengthen the Route 9W corridor.
Community cooperation ensured that a process that could have taken several years was completed. A new bridge stands where an old one once stood. This new bridge will accommodate three lanes of traffic: northbound and southbound through-lanes and a northbound, dedicated left-turn lane. The bridge also will provide four-foot shoulders and sidewalks on both sides.
Throughout the process, my office worked closely with NYSDOT and brought together for collaborative discussion Stony Point officials and surrounding communities and groups, including the town of Haverstraw and the village of West Haverstraw, local police agencies, Rockland County, emergency responders, local businesses and transit system operators.
I look forward to the second and final phase of the project, planned for construction in early 2011 and expected to take a year to complete, will improve the adjoining intersection of State Route 9W with Main Street.