FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE98-09
April 9, 1998
Contact: Geoffrey Ryan (718/595-5371)
Unsafe Conditions Close Plum Brook Bridge
Commissioner Joel A. Miele Sr., P.E., of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced today that the Plum Brook Bridge in the Town of Somers would be closed due to the unsafe condition of the aged span. In June of 1996, the bridge was restricted to one-lane, one-way traffic and limited to vehicles weighing five tons or less. Since then, operators of heavy trucks have regularly violated the five-ton limit, and continuing deterioration has caused the closing to all traffic starting on Friday, April 17. A new span is being designed and reconstruction is scheduled to start in 1999.
Commissioner Miele said, "I regret any inconvenience this may cause users of the Plum Brook Bridge, but the safety of the motoring public must be our top priority. The New York State Department of Transportation has determined that the bridge can no longer function as originally designed, and an engineering study commissioned by DEP shows that deterioration of structural members has diminished the old bridge's load-carrying capacity to such an extent that it is no longer safe for vehicular traffic."
Signs designating the closing of the bridge and the most convenient detour are being installed at appropriate locations. The detour incorporates use of two roads which intersect with each other north of the bridge and with Plum Brook Road: Route 138, east of the bridge, and Route 100, west of the bridge. The detour will add approximately 3.5 miles and 7 to 8 minutes traveling time to the average trip. To accommodate residents of the Plum Brook Road area, the road itself will remain open for local access only.
Plum Brook Bridge crosses over a northern arm of the City's Muscoot Reservoir. The City's responsibility for maintenance of Plum Brook Bridge and ten others in Westchester County dates back to the period when the new Croton Water Supply System was developed between 1870 and 1911. The City has scheduled most of its Westchester County bridges, including Plum Brook Bridge, for reconstruction or major improvements as part of its continuing program to upgrade the infrastructure of the entire upstate water supply system.