TOWN OF LUMBERLAND – New York State Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald wants the Interstate Bridge Commission to evaluate all 10 bridges it manages, including the Pond Eddy Bridge between the Town of Lumberland NY and Shohola PA, to see if historic preservation money can be used to modernize the structures.
New York has earmarked $5 million for construction of a new Pond Eddy Bridge and while McDonald does not advocate pulling those funds, DOT spokesman William Reynolds said the agency wants to “investigate if there are resources available for historic preservation that could be allocated to these bridges instead of using scarce resources needed to maintain infrastructure that is much more heavily used.”
Reynolds said the commissioner “would also like the Interstate Bridge Commission agreement legislation to determine what updates are necessary to meet the demands of modern traffic.”
The New York State DOT “is committed to working with PENN-DOT to find a solution amenable to everybody,” he said.
Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther (D-Forestburgh), meanwhile, wrote a strong letter to Governor Cuomo urging that the project be scrapped.
The assemblywoman said the project was not the best use of New York taxpayers’ dollars since the bridge only serves a small number of Pennsylvania residents living along a landlocked road in Shohola Township.
Several historic preservation and environmental groups have been outspoken about plans to demolish the current bridge and build a new one claiming the existing ancient structure, in serious disrepair, is ‘historic’.