After months of seeking funding and making plans, the closed Springtown bridge on the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail in New Paltz is expected to be open again in the first week of October. The wooden supports of the old steel bridge had rotted out, forcing its closure; the new steel causeway was delivered last Thursday, but installation was delayed another day due to the crane getting a flat tire.
The structure was delivered in two pieces, and a number of residents took notice of the monumental procession through the heart of New Paltz. Rail trail association president Michael Reade wrote on Facebook, “A fun ride on a bike beside a 12-foot-wide bridge negotiating an eleven-foot-wide lane.” He further remarked that escorting the trucks was actually safer, thanks to police escort, than it normally is for a bicyclist riding through town.
While the concourse was estimated to weigh 54,000 pounds, fitting it in place was a delicate procedure that could not be performed in the dark, which is why it was delayed a day by that flat tire. Several trees were executed earlier in the year to make it possible even to do the work, which required two cranes and no small amount of skill. The contract for this work was awarded to Roehrs Construction.
Although the concourse is now in place, town officials have warned that it will remain an active construction site until at least the first week in October, as workers complete myriad detailed tasks to make way for the trail to be reopened.