Mohonk Preserve kicked off the Trapps Bridge replacement project on March 6 at a meeting to formally award the construction contract to Saugerties, New York-based Merritt Construction, Inc. “We’re happy to be working with Mohonk Preserve on this important project, which will provide improved access to the Shawangunk Ridge,” said Merritt Construction president Charles Merritt Jr.
The Trapps Bridge will be removed and replaced with a prefabricated steel pedestrian bridge with wooden decking, similar to the Cedar Drive Bridge over Mohonk Road near the Preserve’s Spring Farm Trailhead. The bridge is being fabricated by Cameron Bridge Works, LLC of Elmira, NY.
Site preparation and construction staging began March 13 and removal of the existing bridge is tentatively scheduled for March 20 and 21. During portions of the bridge removal, traffic on Route 44/55 may be delayed. Beginning the week of April 10, traffic on Route 44/55 will be reduced to one lane via an automated signal while abutments are set back and rebuilt in preparation for the new bridge. The project is slated for completion by August.
While construction is underway, Mohonk Preserve visitors will be redirected to a suite of temporary trails to maintain full access to carriage roads and trails. These temporary trails will be decommissioned after the project is completed.
“This project has been in the works for many years,” said Mohonk Preserve president Glenn Hoagland, who noted that the 87-year-old bridge being replaced had been determined to be unsafe. “We look forward to welcoming our members and visitors this summer with expanded access and connectivity to the historic carriage road network and trails on the ridge.”
“We’re pleased to see the Trapps Bridge replacement project get underway,” said Town of Gardiner Supervisor Marybeth Majestic. “Along with last summer’s Mara Kill Bridge replacement, this marks another important infrastructure improvement in our town, and we are actively seeking funding for replacement of the one-lane bridge on Clove Road.”
The Trapps Bridge replacement project has received generous funding from the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT), a federal TEA-21 grant facilitated by the DOT, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation through Title 9 of the Environmental Protection Act of 1993, the Open Space Institute, with support from the Gilbert Butler Special Projects Fund and numerous individual donors.
For more information and construction updates on the Trapps Bridge replacement project, visit www.mohonkpreserve.org/trapps-bridge.