Funds approved for bridge boost on Rt. 145

RENSSELAERVILLE — A bridge over Fox Creek will be strengthened using federal grant money to prevent the erosion of its foundation, the governor’s office announced last week.

The project will use $925,000 of $47.8 million in “hazard mitigation grants” approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, using a combination of money from FEMA and United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, to retrofit or upgrade 20 bridges in New York.

The bridge in Rensselaerville is the only one in Albany County among the group of 20. It is located at the meeting of Fox Creek and Catskill Creek, in the hamlet of Preston Hollow. Areas of the hamlet were devastated by flooding from Catskill Creek along Route 145 when tropical storms Irene and Lee hit in August 2011.

The state’s Department of Transportation has identified a total of 105 bridges that are safe for everyday traffic but need funding to prevent “scour” — the stripping of sediment by fast-moving water that can harm the integrity of a structure.

Work contracted by the DOT across the state will involve “adding steel or concrete pile foundations, increasing the size of waterway openings to meet 100-year flood projections and reducing or eliminating the number of bridge piers in the water to prevent ice jams that can flood surrounding areas.”

— Marcello Iaia

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