ARDSLEY, N.Y. – The Westchester Board of Legislators passed a resolution Monday to allocate up to $1.5 million to repair the Ashford Avenue Bridge in Ardsley after chunks of concrete fell from the bridge in June.
The resolution comes in the wake of County Executive Robert Astorino’s $1.5 million capital budget amendment, announced in a press release July 27. Unlike Astorino’s amendment, the county legislature’s resolution is funded through the operating funds budget, which allows immediate use of the money toward repairs, said Legislator Catherine Borgia (D-Ossining), chair of the legislature’s government operations committee.
“We want to see it happen in a matter of weeks, not a matter of months,” Borgia said.
Although engineers have determined the bridge is structurally safe for now, when bridges begin to deteriorate, it happens fast, prompting the county legislature to move as quickly as possible to make urgent repairs, Borgia said. The resolution will allow the funds to be put to use after a 10-day bidding period and repairs will include netting and planking to prevent more concrete from falling on the road below, Borgia said. Despite the resolution that addresses critical repairs that need to be made immediately, Borgia said Astorino’s amendment will likely be approved because it provides funding for less immediate repairs that will occur in October.
“Fortunately no one was hurt in June,” Borgia said. “But we don’t want to take the chance that we would be so lucky again. We’re looking to give the administration several different avenues to achieve that goal.”
Astorino’s amendment utilizes capital means and bonding, which avoids using operational money from an already strained budget, said Donna Greene, deputy communications director for the county executive’s office. Greene said although the repairs are needed urgently, the bridge has been deemed safe by engineers. The amendment would go toward stabilizing existing concrete bridge piers, according to a July 27 press release.
“Engineers from the county and the state have inspected it and will continue to inspect it,” Astorino said in the press release. “But at the same time, I am urging action on this capital project to stabilize the bridge further.”