There has been a recent flurry of activity at the old Milton cemetery.
By Bill Lawyer
There has been a recent flurry of activity at the old Milton cemetery. With one of the main piers of the historic Blind Brook footbridge that connects the cemetery to the Purdy Cemetery and Disbrow Park in serious disrepair, the City of Rye wasted no time hiring an outside firm to do the work.
Over fifty years of age, the cemetery bridge has long served as an east-west shortcut for residents. And it has allowed everyone an opportunity to enjoy the pastoral pleasure of the wetlands upstream toward Playland Parkway.
In order to do the project, the contractors built a temporary wooden footbridge, in order not to disturb the cemetery, that crossed the small stream informally named Milton Brook. Upon seeing this, some people’s first thought was that this was going to be a prototype of a bridge to replace the old, badly decaying one that the City demolished last year. A discussion with workers at the site quickly squelched that idea.
City Engineer Ryan Coyne explained that Con-Tech Construction Tech was hired without the usual bidding process required by NY State law, due to the unsafe condition of the bridge. At press time, the City Engineer was not able to provide the cost of the project.
Over the years the piers have been weakened due to the impact of severe storms and coastal surges. About ten years ago the western pier was strengthened. Now it was time to bolster the eastern pier.
The work was carried out in conjunction with the rising and lowering of the tides. A long line of pipes was used to bring concrete from the truck on Milton Road to the repair site. The entire project was completed within a week. Luckily, Hurricane Joaquin passed Rye by, so that the new abutments will have an opportunity to set before they are tested in the coming months.