After several weeks of materials being hidden behind a containment area on the bridge over the Wallkill River on Route 44/55 in Gardiner, the work has begun and the color has been revealed. The peeling, chipping blue paint job on the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT)-owned bridge looked shabby and not shabby-chic, with rust beginning to show throughout its frame.
The DOT has gone to work and unveiled the red paint, which has now been applied to the north side of the bridge. Paint chips, sanding debris and paint, according to Gardiner supervisor Carl Zatz, have “been kept out of the river by a large fabric containment area.” He said that he has heard mixed reviews of the bright red color. The New Paltz Times decided to find out how Gardinerites felt about their newly half-painted red bridge.
“My first reaction was that I thought it looked great,” said Jim Demis. “It was in a bad state of disrepair.”
“I would have preferred the bridge to be painted the colors of the Irish flag,” said Padraig McCormack. He said that it would reflect “the spirit of Ireland Corners,” located at the crossroads of Route 44/55 and Route 208 in Gardiner, and went on to note that in his estimation, “Irish people are the happiest people!”
Danielle Murphy of Gardiner said that she found it to be a “lovely color,” and that she looks “forward to fall” to see how it blends in with the changing autumnal leaf colors.
Jessica Grant said, “The bridge needed updating and I’m just happy that they’re getting it repainted. Red is a great color, and it blends in nicely with the surrounding pastoral red barns that dot the Gardiner landscape.”
While the north side has been completed, work continues on the south side of the Gardiner bridge, which causes a traffic delay. A traffic light has been installed to control two-way travel on an as-of-now one-lane bridge.