Speaking at the base of the Route 120 bridge on a beautiful early fall morning, New Castle Town Supervisor Barbara Gerrard today expressed enthusiasm for the progress being made on reconstruction of the bridge. She also expressed her gratitude to New Castle residents for their continued patience as the much needed reconstruction continues.
Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) and Assemblyman Robert Castelli (R-White Plains) joined Supervisor Gerrard on a tour of the construction site, which includes the new bridge deck that opened to traffic in August and ongoing demolition of the older, north section of the bridge. These legislators were instrumental in getting the contractor, Conti Construction Company, back on the job after construction was suddenly halted in April as a result of a dispute over funds owed to the contractor by the State.
“The Town Board was informed on April 1 that all construction would be halted,” said Supervisor Gerrard. “With the workers idle and our residents enduring pothole after pothole, inconvenience after inconvenience, with no hope of matters improving, I contacted both Senator Oppenheimer and Assemblyman Castelli about our plight. They responded immediately and advocated for our cause at all levels - executive and administrative. They used all their multiple resources to ensure that our desperate situation was understood and corrected as quickly as possible to avoid missing an entire season of construction which would be near-catastrophic for our already economically stressed community.”
“I’m pleased to have been able to help expedite the payment of monies owed to the contractor,” said Senator Oppenheimer, “though walking off the job for this reason was never justified. I worked very closely with Supervisor Gerrard, Governor Paterson, State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, the leadership at the Department of Transportation, as well as Assemblyman Castelli, to resolve this dispute as quickly as possible.”
“This is a great example of bipartisan cooperation and what can be done when members reach across party lines to work together for the common good of the community,” said Assemblyman Castelli.
In 2007, the NYS Department of Transportation rated the Route 120 bridge as one of the 10 most “deficient” bridges in Region 8, which encompasses Westchester and neighboring counties. Expeditious reconstruction of the bridge is a top safety concern. The Route 120 bridge is also the lifeblood of the community and the only non-grade crossing of the MetroNorth Rail Road and the Saw Mill River parkway in all of New Castle. Indeed, the bridge separates essential fire, police and ambulance services located on the east side of the bridge from two-thirds of the town’s residents who live on the west side.
Assuming no further delays, construction is expected to be completed by the spring of 2011.