Philipstown to Convey Land for Bridge

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Needed for replacement of span in 2023

A year — almost to the day — after Putnam County legislators voted to replace the Sprout Brook Road/Canopus Creek bridge in Philipstown, the Town Board agreed to convey 296 square feet of land to the county and grant a work easement.

In return, the town will receive $400.

The board acted at its formal monthly meeting in Town Hall on Aug. 4. 

The county Legislature approved the bridge rebuilding on Aug. 3, 2021. 

Putnam has estimated that replacing the 87-year-old span will cost $1.6 million. In 2021, when evaluated by New York State, the bridge, described as “considerably deteriorated,” received a rating of 3 on a scale of 1 to 7. That was the lowest of any Highlands bridge. 

According to county records, the new bridge, 28 feet long and broader than its predecessor, will have a 10-foot-wide roadway and two shoulders, each 5 feet wide. The 296-square-foot parcel from the town will become part of a reconfigured approach from Winston Lane.

At the Town Board meeting, Supervisor John Van Tassel noted that residents of Continental Village, where the bridge is located, have expressed concerns about the loss of the walkway on the existing bridge. He pointed out that at each end of the current bridge the walkway stops, with no sidewalk. He said that town officials “have no say whether we’re getting a walking path on it.” 

In 2021, on the same night that the county Legislature authorized the bridge replacement, it adopted a Complete Streets policy that calls for considering “walking, cycling, driving automobiles and public transportation” in policymaking.

Adopted by a 4-0 vote (with one member absent), the Town Board’s resolution on Aug. 4 pointed out that residents who oppose town involvement in the bridge project have until Sept. 3 to seek a “permissive referendum” by collecting signatures of registered voters and getting the issue placed on the ballot of an upcoming election. If no successful petition drive ensues, the Town Board’s approval takes effect.

Van Tassel acknowledged that along with qualms over losing the walkway, some residents have reservations about the project’s impact on traffic during construction. 

“That’s what everybody’s biggest concern is, navigating narrow roads” in detours, a resident said during the meeting.

“Continental Village used to be a little weekend community and now it’s full-time” residential, Van Tassel said. “There’s a lot of cars.” He said town officials have been conferring with the county Highway Department to minimize problems.

Town Attorney Steve Gaba said construction is expected to begin in 2023.

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