Mayor Ernest D. Davis & Governor Cuomo Announce up to Three Bridges to be Replaced Over Metro-North New Haven Line
Metro-North and City of Mount Vernon partnering on $10 million construction
Mayor Ernest D. Davis and Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that Metro-North Railroad and the City of Mount Vernon have agreed to work together to replace up to three priority bridges that carry vehicular traffic over Metro-North’s New Haven Line tracks in downtown Mount Vernon. The bridges are located at Tenth Avenue, Sixth Avenue and North 14th Avenue.
“Our administration has made it a top priority to rebuild our infrastructure, and by replacing these century-old bridges, we are taking an important step toward preserving and improving a vital part of our transportation system and providing peace of mind to the motorists who depend on it,” Governor Cuomo said. “I am proud that the State is joining with our local and federal partners to move these important projects forward.”
Mount Vernon Mayor Ernest D. Davis said, “We are proud to be partnering with Metro-North Railroad, our State and Federal colleagues for an initiative to rebuild up to three overhead bridges located in the City of Mount Vernon. We realize we are inextricably intertwined with our collaborating agencies, and it is with that in mind that we worked together to fund the replacement of these bridges. Bridges located at Sixth Avenue and Tenth Avenue are slated to be demolished and rebuilt. With the expertise of Metro-North and a $10 million budget, we are very optimistic the third bridge at Fourteenth Avenue will also be rebuilt. Replacement of these bridges at this time helps to connect structurally safe support systems to the ongoing efforts the City is making toward future redevelopment.”
The design and replacement project is estimated to cost $10 million with the bulk of the funding ($7 million) to be provided by the MTA Capital Program. Another $1.3 million has been secured by New York State Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow. The City of Mount Vernon will receive $1.8 million in federal funds obtained by Congressman Elliot Engel’s Office.
Metro-North President Joseph Giulietti said, “We are pleased to be working together with the City of Mount Vernon to facilitate the renewal of these century-old structures that run over our tracks. We thank local, state and federal representatives for understanding the importance of funding these projects.”
Congressman Engel said, “I am pleased that the MTA, state and federal governments were able to come together to fund this important transportation initiative. Investing in our infrastructure will create numerous jobs within the district in addition to improving our aging transportation system. Projects like this are an excellent investment in our community and it is my hope that upon completion of the design and cost estimates, we will be able to replace all three bridges on 10th Avenue, 6th Avenue, and North 14th Avenue.”
Assemblyman Pretlow said, “I am pleased to be part of a cooperative effort involving the City and Congressman Engel to help the people of Mount Vernon and those who drive over these aging structures on a daily basis. Residents will certainly appreciate a safer road that gets them to work or school or the supermarket.”
Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson said, “I am grateful that we were able to bring the state and federal officials together to make this happen. Hopefully, this will be just one step to upgrading Mt. Vernon’s aging infrastructure. We have more to do.”
Once funding is secured, Metro-North will solicit contractors for the design and construction work necessary for the project. Upon completing the design and finalizing cost estimates, the parties will determine whether three or two bridges will be replaced based on the available funding. Replacement of the Tenth Avenue and Sixth Avenue bridges would begin first. The 106-foot-long Tenth Avenue Bridge, which was built in 1898, is currently closed to traffic.
The Sixth Avenue Bridge, built in 1894, which connects at Wilson Place, has a span of 65 feet and carries one lane of traffic in each direction. It was closed for two months in the summer of 2011 while Metro-North repaired it at a cost of $213,000.
The North 14th Avenue Bridge, also built in 1894, spans 94 feet in length and also carries one lane of traffic in each direction. It was closed for two months in the summer of 2012 while Metro-North repaired it at a cost of $350,000.
In Mount Vernon, the four Metro-North tracks are below street level in a “Railway cut” that is spanned by 11 closely spaced bridges. Mount Vernon’s bridges are key to the City’s economic and commercial viability. Under agreements inherited from predecessor railroads, these bridges are the responsibility of Metro-North to maintain with the City also sharing responsibility for certain bridges. The bridges include the station pedestrian overpass, which was replaced in 2000, and the Park Avenue Bridge, which Metro-North rebuilt three years ago at a cost of $10.5 million.