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Surman Accelerates Bridge Reopening
Bridge Originally Thought to be Closed 3 to 4 years. Innovative Solution Will Reopen Bridge in 3 Months.

Published: 6/17/2010

Dutchess County Legislator Alan Surman (R-District 24 – Dover/Union Vale) has announced an innovative, temporary solution to reopen the recently closed County Bridge D32 on Ridge Road in the town of Dover.  Surman said, “We have been able to identify a temporary bridge structure to be erected to span the Cooperstown Brook and existing bridge.  We anticipate it will be in place and open to vehicular traffic by the end of August.”

Legislator Surman, who represents Dover and Union Vale, has been working with County Executive William R. Steinhaus and the Dutchess County Department of Public Works (DCDPW) to find a viable and speedy solution to reopen the bridge crossing to vehicular traffic.  The bridge had been closed in May for safety when an inspection found deterioration of the bridge had accelerated significantly since the prior inspection.  The 110-year old bridge over the Cooperstown Brook had been listed for replacement in 2014, to be funded with federal transportation aid.     

“Having the bridge on this town road potentially closed for nearly four years was simply not an option,” said Legislator Surman.   “I am very pleased we were able to work toward a realistic and speedy solution for Dover families that was practical from an engineering and cost standpoint.”

Legislator Surman researched temporary bridge structures as a possible solution.  The County engineering team located an available bridge structure currently being stored in the New York State Department of Transportation depot in Maybrook (Orange County, NY) that had once been utilized along the NYS Thruway.  Legislator Surman, County Executive Steinhaus and Commissioner of Public Works Charles Traver traveled to Maybrook, surveyed the available bridge structure pieces, including galvanized steel decking and girders, and discussed arrangements for possible use in Dover. 

“Our solution is to use many of the pieces of this bridge to build our own temporary bridge over the Cooperstown Brook,” explained Legislator Surman.  Mr. Surman noted, “The temporary bridge will be erected and suspended over the original bridge is being provided at no cost to the County.  Installation and miscellaneous county costs are expected to be minimal.”  Surman emphasized there will be no cost to the Town of Dover although the bridge is located on Ridge Road, a town road.

Surman said, “Bridge components will be transported to the County with work over the span to begin in the next few weeks and is expected to take approximately 6 to 8 weeks.  The span is scheduled to be reopened to vehicular traffic no later than September, although a possible August reopening is anticipated.”

Legislator Surman also worked with County Executive Steinhaus and Public Works Commissioner Traver to successfully move the permanent replacement bridge project and funding up two years onto the 2012 construction schedule.  Design planning for a new bridge had already begun by DCDPW engineers and is part of a larger road realignment project that would eliminate a sharp bend in the road approaching the Dover bridge.  

“Alan Surman deserves tremendous credit as an advocate for Dover residents to quickly find a solution to reopen the Cooperstown Brook crossing.  Legislator Surman was a vocal, passionate advocate, and brought great ideas and urgency to the table to facilitate a workable solution,” said County Executive William R. Steinhaus.  “Working with our great engineering team at Public Works, Alan rolled up his sleeves and really dug in, doing his homework, to find a way to ‘cross this bridge’.”