The historic foot and utility bridge that traverses Mountain Rest Road between the Mohonk Mountain House Gatehouse and the golf course came crashing down after being struck by a commercial concrete truck on Thursday, June 2 at approximately 12:05 p.m.
“It was one of those concrete trucks that have the turning barrel,” said New Paltz Fire Department (NPFD) Chief Cory Wirthmann. “I don’t know if the concrete truck didn’t see the bridge or read the signs, but it drove right into it and the entire bridge came down.”
The one-lane passage under the bridge has strict height and width requirements due to its narrow birth and forces traffic to slow at the top of the mountain.
Wirthmann was the first firefighter on the scene and said that Paul Colucci, a local excavator who does work for the Mohonk Preserve and Open Space Institute on their carriage roads, “happened to be working in the area and offered to bring one of his excavators up and helped clean the roadway, which was awesome.
The NPFD blocked traffic coming from the east side and the High Falls Fire Department blocked traffic coming from the west side until Mohonk Mountain House was able to open up a bypass on its property that allowed traffic to circumvent the accident.
“They have a bypass that was built exactly for this reason,” said Wirthmann. “So that worked out well. As far as I know, no one was injured.”
Several traffic alerts were sent out by the New Paltz Police Department and their agency responded as did the State Police and the Ulster County Sheriff’s office.
Mohonk Mountain House has not confirmed whether or not it plans to rebuild the foot bridge.