U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg visited the Capital Region today to announce that the New York State Thruway Authority’s project to restore the Castleton-on-Hudson Bridge will receive $21 million in federal funding.

Speaking at Schodack Island State Park along the Hudson River, Buttigieg said the bridge, now in poor overall condition, is critical to the regional transportation network.

“17,000 people cross that bridge every day, and the project is set to save millions of dollars in travel costs and also save taxpayers in maintenance costs,” Buttigieg said. “And it’s about time. Because if you look at that bridge, it represents the latest engineering and construction that was available in the late 1950s. But today, it only takes monthly maintenance to keep it in service.”

New York Gov. Cathy Hochul, a fellow Democrat, says the bridge is in dire need of a facelift.

“It’s getting old. And there’s a lot of potholes and it’s basically compromised,” Hochul said. “And for our trucking industry and our commuters and the people who use the bridge, it’s been a real hassle. And when we start slowing down the economy, because the infrastructure isn’t making the roads as smooth and efficient as they should be, then we’ve got a problem. That affects areas larger than that one bridge.”

The grant to the New York State Thruway Authority will go toward the rehabilitation of the 63-year-old bridge over the New York Thruway’s Berkshire Spur, which connects I-87 in Albany County to the New York-Massachusetts state lines. Again, Buttigieg:

“If you actually Google the Castleton Bridge,” Buttigieg said, “you’ll find a bunch of one-star reviews from travelers expressing frustration about what it takes to drive over it. So thankfully, the project is going to include a new eastbound. Bridge deck, safety For crash-proof railings, better drainage, which is going to help prevent hydroplaning. And all of that will make the Castleton Bridge dramatically safer for the people who rely on it, and cut down on emergency repairs, which means fewer of those delays and detours and closures. . And this is in addition to the project already under construction to replace the bridge deck on the west side. These projects are set to extend the bridge’s useful life by another 50 years, meaning our children and grandchildren will one day have the opportunity to benefit from it. And I hope that their Leave your own five-star Google reviews about their experience.

Buttigieg’s visit is part of the Biden administration’s “Invest in America” ​​tour. He says the funding is part of $300 million from the Bridge Investment Program going to eight states and Washington, D.C.

“Nationwide, 43,000 bridges are in poor condition, closed or worse, becoming the norm, and the American public feels the impact,” Buttigieg said. “When bridges have to be closed for maintenance, or when they start to fail, it cuts. Sometimes the whole community, it adds time to commute, it costs money for businesses, as we’ve heard about it, it costs ambulances and fire trucks to respond to emergencies.” It can delay getting to where it’s needed. It means trucks have to take longer routes, which means consumers pay more for delivery. And working parents have to spend more money on gas and more time away from their kids. That’s what it’s really about. Bridges are concrete. , not just asphalt and steel. They are engines of economic growth, and they are vital connections for communities.”

Buttigieg and the project were welcomed by 20-year-old Congressman Paul Tonkoth District.

“We are proud of this effort,” Tonko said. “I wanted to make sure that we have this holistic approach to infrastructure. And what’s really important is that the president appointed a team that is going to make sure that these programs are accountable and transparent and that the investments are made as legislatively and executively intended. So it’s a good use of these dollars.” It’s a steward. It creates jobs. It strengthens our national security and instills a strong sense of hope for tomorrow, and enables us to have a sharp competitive edge in the highly competitive, competitive sweepstakes going on globally right now.”

The grant is made possible by the Biden-Harris administration’s bipartisan infrastructure legislation, which will help repair or rebuild 10 of the nation’s most economically important bridges and thousands of other bridges nationwide that are critical to the movement of people and goods.

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