Over 100 Mohonk Preserve supporters gathered on Tuesday morning, July 25 to celebrate the grand opening of the Trapps Bridge over Route 44/55 in Gardiner.
The newly completed bridge replaces a former 1930 re-purposed railroad bridge with a steel pedestrian bridge with wooden decking, providing a link from Mohonk Preserve to Minnewaska State Park Preserve and the rest of the Shawangunk Ridge. The new bridge allows improved visibility for cars traveling on Route 44/55 from the east and west approaches..
The bridge, which was manufactured by Cameron Bridge Works in Elmira, is more perpendicular to the road and is 20 feet longer and 18 inches taller than its predecessor. Merritt Construction of Saugerties was the lead contractor and completed the project in 69 days. In total, 33 direct construction-phase jobs were created by the project, according to a news release.
Grant funding for the project was provided by the New York State Department of Transportation; the Environmental Protection Fund administered by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; and the Open Space Institute with support from the Gilbert Butler Special Projects Fund.
In addition to speakers, which included festivities included state senator John Bonacic and assemblyman Kevin Cahill, there were nature-themed songs performed by Woodcrest School third and fourth graders, including a version of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land” with a special Gunks verse, and a ribbon-cutting and ceremonial bridge crossing featuring hikers, climbers and boulderers, cyclists, runners, dog walkers and equestrians.