No Bridge Too Far for Our Town

Closed for nearly six and a half years, the Central Avenue Bridge reopened to citywide celebration September 6.

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Published September 16, 2013 5:00 AM
2 min read

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bridge 3Closed for nearly six and a half years, the Central Avenue Bridge reopened to citywide celebration September 6.

By Robin Jovanovich

 

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Closed for nearly six and a half years, the Central Avenue Bridge reopened to citywide celebration September 6.

 

The road to completion had its share of bumps.

 

bridge 1The bridge, a busy connector between Boston Post Road and Theodore Fremd Avenue, was scheduled for a major upgrade in 2006, having been declared deficient by New York State after an inspection the previous year. A redesign was in the works when the spring floods of 2007 virtually destroyed the bridge. It was expected that FEMA would pay for its replacement, and City staff worked long and hard to secure that funding. But after a two-year process, FEMA informed the City that because Central Avenue is a state road it was turning the application over to the NYS Department of Transportation. After a final redesign, the project was started at the beginning of 2013. Aside from a few unexpected sewer lines, the project mostly ran smoothly these past months.

 

In his opening remarks at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Mayor Doug French joked, “I thought the Tappan Zee Bridge would be finished before the Central Avenue Bridge.” He added, “But we’re resolute; we get stuff done in Rye.”

 

bridge 2The Mayor praised City Manager Scott Pickup for his tenacity. “Three-quarters of the $1.5 million project is state-funded,” he said. Mayor French also credited previous administrations, DOT personnel, and Ammann & Whitney, the Rye-based engineering firm that headed up the project.

 

In his remarks, City Councilman Rich Filippi, who lives a short walk from the bridge, said it’s not a bridge “but a monument to volunteerism. Local politics is where you have the greatest response from government. The community voiced strong support for reopening the bridge and it happened.” Councilman Filippi thanked Mayor French for four great years of leadership.

 

After City officials cut the ribbon, marking the official reopening, Councilman Filippi was the first to drive over the bridge. Members of the Rye Police Department were the next.

 

And the community cheered.

 

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