The project to replace the Route 28 bridge over the Esopus Creek in Mount Tremper has been completed. The wider 800-foot bridge replaces the 336-foot bridge built in 1966. The project included the realignment of the Route 212 and Route 28 intersection, approximately 250 feet to the west. Embankment materials below the old bridge approaches were used to raise portions of Route 212 above flood elevation. A new culvert now carries a small stream under the relocated roadway.
“To keep with the rural aesthetics of the community,” the state DOT said, “landscape architects implemented a plan for landscaping and general aesthetics, which included approximately 124 tree plantings, wildflower seeding and 300 live cuttings throughout the stream corridor.”
The Esopus Creek, which runs downward in elevation in the immediate area to what locals know as Railroad Rapids, was especially prone to flooding. It’s one of the first places at which the Ulster & Delaware railbed first became impassable in the 1970s, as the rushing Esopus scoured away all embankments built to protect it.
This completed project helps sustain the streambed corridor during extreme weather events by dramatically widening the area the rushing waters can occupy. Several structures had to be destroyed and others moved to higher ground. In all, $23.6 million was spent.
“The Town of Shandaken is grateful for the timely completion of this transformative and necessary project,” said retiring Shandaken town supervisor Robert Stanley. “We were happy to work with many partners, the NYS DOT and contractors to include elements to provide multi-generational resiliency for many of our community’s residents and their homes while also providing a more secure route during and immediately following high-water events that have plagued our community. This is a lifeline corridor, and it provides security along with the homes and lives being further protected against flooding of the Esopus Creek.”