MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- The Jefferson Avenue Bridge is expected to reopen to traffic in early August after nearly two years of delays and problems -- and that was welcome news to many Mamaroneck residents Monday, July 14.
Mayra Cortez walks around the construction every day to get her two young girls to ballet class on the corner of Jefferson and Mamaroneck avenues, and then goes to her exercise class nearby. She walks through Columbus Park to get there because she doesn’t like walking near a lot of traffic, especially with her children.
“I saw that it looks like it’s almost done,” she said on her walk home Monday. “Still, I was thinking probably that it was going to take more time. So just to hear that it’s going to be open pretty soon makes me happy because I will have a big shortcut.”
Donny Zambrano said he will have to get used to having his old shortcut back open, while 50-year village resident Linda Lyon said she'll believe it's reopening when she sees it.
The bridge was closed in September 2012 to raise the bridge and ease flooding issues. It was estimated to take 10 months and cost $3.5 million. However, a sewer line was broken at the site in March 2013 and leaked millions of gallons of sewage into the Mamaroneck River. This led to a $17,000 fine from the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
Fast-forward to June 2014, and the bridge has a new water main, which is ready to be put into service, Village Manager Richard Slingerland wrote on the village website. First, the Westchester County Department of Health has to confirm the bacteria samples taken from the new water main meet county and state drinking water standards.
If that happens, the pavement, sidewalks and roads can be completed.
One last problem comes from the state Department of Transportation, which notified the village that the designs for the bridge’s railing don’t meet pedestrian safety standards for height. It will have to be adjusted, which Slingerland said will be done before the bridge is complete. However, he said it will not delay the bridge’s reopening.
“Either the railing will be retrofitted, or proper safety measures will be implemented until they can be,” he said.
The August timeline could change, depending on weather, the Health Department water quality test or any further delays.