Governor Kathy Hochul today announced $56.2 million in infrastructure investments for the City of Kingston, which includes the start of a major bridge rehabilitation project and the completion of a roundabout within the city. A $44.6 million project getting underway will rehabilitate the historic Kingston-Port Ewen Suspension Bridge, also known as the Wurts Street Bridge, which has been closed since September of 2020. Additionally, the $11.6 million Kingston Roundabout project was recently completed, which reconstructed the intersection of Interstate 587 (Colonel Chandler Drive), State Route 32 (Albany Avenue) and Broadway in the City of Kingston, Ulster County.
“We continue to make ambitious investments in transportation projects throughout New York that are built to last, and these two in Kingston are perfect examples of how we are connecting communities efficiently and safely,” said the Governor. “Project by project, we are moving New York forward and building one of the most robust and versatile transportation networks in the nation.”
The Wurts Street Bridge project will completely rehabilitate the 100-year-old crossing by enhancing the structural stability of the bridge and re-establishing an important connector between the City of Kingston and the Town of Esopus in Ulster County. Improvements planned for the bridge include a new bridge deck, guide rails, sidewalks, railings and suspender cables. The bridge’s load capacity will be increased to 20 tons and sidewalks will be widened to meet current standards. New paint will also be added, lessening the need for annual maintenance.
The chambers, where the main cables are anchored, will have state of the art climate control systems to control moisture and ensure the anchorages remain free from corrosion. Additionally, the control systems will be enabled with remote monitoring and operation.
Local officials were quick to express their appreciation for the funds. “As the first suspension bridge ever built in the Hudson Valley and the oldest in the Hudson River Valley Region, the Wurts Street Bridge is an important part of our local history that has served as a critical connector between our Kingston and Port Ewen communities,” said Senator Michelle Hinchey. “This effort to save Wurts Street Bridge and rehabilitate the beautiful landmark back to its former glory will help create jobs while enabling the bridge to resume its rightful role as a gateway to commerce, recreation, and culture for years to come.”
Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan also thanked “Governor Hochul and the Department of Transportation for investing in the rehabilitation of one of Ulster County’s most unique and historic treasures. This significant investment by New York State in the historic Kingston-Port Ewen Suspension Bridge will reopen an important connector and picturesque feature for Ulster County communities.”
The popular pedestrian walkway and docks below the bridge will remain open during construction. The roadway below the bridge, Dock Street/West Strand Street, will also remain open, but existing parking spaces will be temporarily closed. Abeel Street on the northern end of the bridge will be reconstructed, requiring a temporary closure of one lane. All work is expected to be completed by fall 2023.
The Kingston Roundabout project transformed a busy intersection into a modern roundabout that provides enhanced safety for all travelers and more efficient traffic flow for vehicles at one of the city’s key gateways. New sidewalks, signals and other pedestrian accommodations were also added.
As part of the project, a park-like space was created adjacent to the roundabout between East St. James, Broadway and Albany Avenue. Raised crosswalks, updated sidewalks, a mixed-used path and rectangular rapid-flashing beacons were also installed to enhance accommodations for pedestrians. The beacons provide a high-visibility strobe-like warning to drivers when pedestrians use a crosswalk.
In addition to Governor Hochul, City of Kingston Mayor Steve Noble thanked “Assemblyman Cahill for his help in securing the funding for this major bridge renovation project. I would like to thank NYS DOT and their contractors for their excellent work on the roundabout, which provides a beautiful new gateway into our City while also reducing congestions and greenhouse gas emissions.”
Additionally, a storm water treatment system was created onsite to collect and filter runoff, which will help protect the surrounding environment. The DOT coordinated with the City of Kingston, Kingston Water Department and the Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation to replace and modernize underground infrastructure, including sewer, water and gas facilities.