Bridge over Esopus opens ahead of schedule

Bridge work earlier this month. (Photo by David Gordon)

Bridge work earlier this month. (Photo by David Gordon)

The Glasco Turnpike bridge over the Esopus Creek opened today with an 11 a.m.  ribbon-cutting by the county.

The date is well ahead of the estimate provided by county officials just a few weeks ago.

# bridge hole s

The creek, visible through the bottom part of the hole, in this photo from last winter


The bridge was closed in mid-February after its deterioration became untenable. The bridge was on the county’s to-do list, but things became urgent when chunks of asphalt were dislodged, revealing the icy creek below. Being the only way to get over the creek for miles in either direction, its closing caused considerable inconvenience. Residents of the stretch of Glasco Turnpike between the bridge and the railroad tracks had a bit of a scare March 31 when a train stopped for several hours, blocking the track and cutting them off from the rest of the town. Local officials quickly contacted CSX and created a plan to deal with emergency calls should such an incident happen again (it didn’t).

After the bridge was stripped, the piers were judged to be structurally sound. New decking was installed and work was done on the road on either side of the bridge, including making the curve on the west side less sharp, said county legislator Dean Fabiano.

The bridge, constructed in 1961, is officially known as the Sauer Bridge, but is colloquially called PVI Bridge.