The structure, which is also known as the Wurts Street Bridge, has been closed since September 2020.
The project involves complete rehabilitation of the 100-year-old bridge, including enhancing the structural stability. Among the planned improvements are a new deck and suspender cables as well as guide rails, footpaths and railings. The bridge's load capacity will be increased to 18.1 tonnes (20 US tons).
The chambers where the main cables are anchored will have climate-control systems to manage moisture and ensure the anchorages remain free from corrosion.
DOT commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said: “The rehabilitation of the Wurts Street Bridge will restore an important link for Ulster County residents and travellers and, at the same time, add aesthetic enhancements that will cement this bridge's status as a Hudson Valley icon.”
Senator Michelle Hinchey said: “As the first suspension bridge ever built in the Hudson Valley and the oldest in the Hudson River Valley Region, the Wurts Street Bridge is an important part of our local history that has served as a critical connector between our Kingston and Port Ewen communities. This effort to save Wurts Street Bridge and rehabilitate the beautiful landmark back to its former glory will help create jobs while enabling the bridge to resume its rightful role as a gateway to commerce, recreation, and culture for years to come.”
Town of Esopus supervisor Jared Geuss said: “The people of Esopus are relieved that long-term infrastructure funding is finally available for repairs to the Kingston Port Ewen Suspension Bridge. The bridge provides critical infrastructure for emergency personnel, and serves commuters on both sides of the Rondout Creek who use it for everyday travel to earn a living. Its temporary closure resulted in a loss of connectivity, convenience and community vibrancy. We are so glad that the old suspension bridge, which was a source of civic pride in our area, will be restored to its original glory.”
All work is expected to be completed by autumn 2023.