The City of Rye has landed $5 million in NY State funding to replace the Locust Avenue Bridge in downtown Rye. Adjacent to Rye FD’s firehouse, the Rye YMCA and new Locust Rye apartment development, it will still be at least 24 months or more until the nearly 100 year old bridge, a known flooding trouble spot, is replaced. The City must come up with an additional $4.5 million before scheduling the estimated $9.5 million project.
A flood mitigation study of the Blind Brook prepared by firm SLR for the State DEC in November 2022 said the Locust Avenue bridge is “possibly the most hydraulically undersized bridge in HRA 2 [downtown Rye]”.
The bridge funding is being provided through the State’s BRIDGE NY program, which assists local governments across the state to harden their existing infrastructure. As part of the State’s historic $32.8 billion capital plan adopted last year, $1 billion was committed to BRIDGE NY, effectively doubling the size of the program.
In this current cycle, over 200 projects were awarded Statewide with 24 from the mid-Hudson region receiving $60 million. There were only three projects in the region that received $5 million, the maximum amount available.
“The Locust Avenue Bridge is one of our well-known flood trouble spots,” said City of Rye Mayor Josh Cohn. “We are delighted to have this Bridge NY funding to help replace it. We are very grateful to Senator Mayer and Assemblyman Otis for their constant support, and, of course, to Governor Hochul.”
The application made by the City for the funding explains the bridge will be elevated and then widened from 30 to 50 feet long. In addition, 30-foot sections of the channel, upstream and downstream on each side, will be regraded to assist water flow.
“Anything that we do in the future with regard to that bridge is going to have to be done in consultation and engineering and science of what impact it could have downstream,” said Rye City Manager Greg Usry. “And making sure that we’re not transferring damage from one place to another.”