At the Town Board meeting on April 5, Town of Gardiner supervisor Marybeth Majestic had some good news for local commuters, as well as some less encouraging news. The long-awaited replacement for the Clove Road Bridge, which has been closed since mid-October of 2021, will be “open by the end of April,” Majestic said. Addressing the problem of the 30-year-old bridge spanning the Coxing Kill, which was originally planned to be a temporary fix and classified as “structurally compromised” by the Department of Transportation (DOT), has been a top priority of the supervisor since she took office six years ago. The closure of the bridge has necessitated a detour of 12 to 14 miles, via Accord or High Falls, for residents of the remote neighborhood in the middle of the Shawangunk Ridge known as the Clove.
Less promising are the prospects for repairs on the McKinstry Road bridge across the Wallkill River, which was abruptly closed by the Ulster County Department of Public Works in August 2020 when an inspection revealed structural problems. “That construction hasn’t started yet,” Majestic told the Town Board, and the schedule is not under Gardiner’s control because McKinstry – a/k/a County Road 7A – is maintained by Ulster County. Another bridge repair, spanning the Dwaar Kill on Hoagerburgh Road, should be “done by July.”
At Benton Corners, the notoriously perilous intersection of McKinstry Road and Route 44/55, new blinking traffic warning signals are now fully operational, Majestic reported. However, she added, installation of a red light was still “slated for the 2023/24 construction season,” per the DOT.