County Executive William R. Steinhaus announced today details of the $4.9 million Dutchess County 2005 Highway and Bridge Improvement Program. This annual funding request is utilized to improve the 394-mile County Highway System, which includes 312 bridges.
County Executive Steinhaus said, “The County Highway System is vital to the safe and efficient movement of people, goods and services within and through Dutchess, as it serves as a key backbone of our economy. Despite our current financial constraints, it is a priority of mine we continue to maintain and improve our local transportation system which is so important to the prosperity of our county.”
This year’s request includes funding for the following programs:
Pavement Management Program (approximately 30 miles of paving),
Guide Rail Replacement Program,
Bridge Repair and Replacement,
Major Drainage Projects,
Highway and Intersections Improvements and Phase One of Improvements to the Main Highway complex in the Town of Poughkeepsie.
"This annual capital program allows us to make long-term improvements to the system, which is needed to keep up with the consistent growth in traffic volumes witnessed in Dutchess County and the Mid-Hudson Region," said Steinhaus.
The bridge replacement projects scheduled to begin in 2005 include a bridge on Center Road (CR18), and the replacement of two open-grate steel decks on bridges located in the Towns of Clinton on Fiddler’s Bridge Road and Stanford (County Road 17). The Fiddler’s Bridge Road project is adjacent to West Clinton Fire Department Station 2 Fire House, which raises this project’s priority. Both steel grates are failing and require regular maintenance to be kept open to traffic.
This year’s program places emphasis on continuing to reduce a backlog of needed guide rail replacements, including improvements to the Lime Kiln Road median in East Fishkill adjacent to IBM East Fishkill and the ramps from I-84. Further improvements to Creek Road in the Town of Wappinger are also planned. Last year’s partial collapse on the route has been repaired, but long-term stabilization of additional portions of the road is needed. The County is exploring the conversion of the Creek Road to a one-way road with the addition of a bike/pedestrian lane in order to reduce the required width of the road and prevent future collapses.
Dutchess County recently developed a new master plan to upgrade its main Highway Construction Maintenance and Engineering Complex on Route 44 in the Town of Poughkeepsie. A second tour of the facility and update on the report for the Legislature’ capital and Public works Committee is scheduled for June 14, 2005. This bond request includes funding for the First Phase of the improvements outlined in the new Master Plan, which consists mostly of site improvements and a needed electrical upgrade that are precursors to future building improvements.
The County anticipates receiving annual CHIPS allocation from the State, which will reduce the end cost to the County for the 2005 program to $2,800,000.
The program will be submitted to the Legislature for consideration at their July meeting.
County Executive Steinhaus is also Chairman of the Poughkeepise-Dutchess County Transportation Council.