The Empire Bridge programme, administered by the New York State Department of Transportation, is replacing 100 ageing, vulnerable and out-of-date structures across the state.

Governor Andrew Cuomo was on site this week for the demolition of the Route 213 bridge over the Rondout Creek, which is part of a US$27 million design and build project to replace six bridges in Ulster County.

The 84m, three-span structure that was demolished is being replaced with a new, single-span 70m structural steel bridge with a reinforced concrete deck and abutments founded on piles. The demolition of the old bridge involved the use of explosives placed on the structure to fracture the steel trusses.

Demolition - NY Empire Bridge programme

“We’re taking an important step toward building a stronger future with new, state-of-the-art bridges to replace the ageing and vulnerable structures along our network,” said Cuomo. “For too long state government was unwilling to take on ambitious projects – opting instead to make repairs which amounted to nothing more than temporary fixes to reoccurring problems. The Empire Bridge programme and every infrastructure project we take on shows that New York is getting things done, and building our future for future generations to come.”

In addition to the 100 new structures included in the Empire Bridge programme, eight bridges on Long Island have been retrofitted.