At-risk bridges to be replaced in North Country

Seven bridges in the town of Keene will be replaced under Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan.

Seven bridges in the town of Keene will be replaced under Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— A total of 14 bridges in Essex and Clinton counties will be replaced in an effort to shore up infrastructure in the wake of extreme weather.

In a press conference attended by Vice President Joe Biden and local leaders Randy Douglas of Jay and Bill Ferebee of Keene (who serve as the Essex County Board of Supervisors’ Chairman and Vice Chairman, respectively), New York State Andrew Cuomo announced an investment of $486 million to replace a total of 100 at-risk bridges not designed to withstand the new reality of extreme weather. The state will seek to use federal funds to replace or retrofit these bridges to ensure that they are fully protected against future threats.

“The new reality in New York is we are getting hit by 100 year storms every couple of years,” Cuomo said. “We have to wake up to that new reality by completely reimagining our state to be ready for any future disaster. Our plan completely transforms the way we build and protect our infrastructure. I want to thank Vice President Biden for being here today to support our efforts to reimagine New York and for supporting our state throughout the Sandy recovery process.”

“I think you rebuilding New York, reimagining a future is exactly what we have to do in this country,” Biden said. “You’re not just leading in New York, you’re leading the country and I think a lot of governors and a lot of folks can learn an awful lot from what they see and what you do here.”

“It was an honor to be invited today for this meeting and announcement,” Douglas said. “We in the towns of Jay and Keene, and all of Essex County are very thankful for the support we have received from the state and federal government as we continue to rebuild from the effects of Hurricane Irene. We are able to build a bigger and stronger public infrastructure because of the funding we have received and continue to receive from the State and Federal Government.”

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