It has been determined that, although in the past the City has pestered CSX to make repairs to the Ferry Street Bridge, the City has owned the bridge all along, so it's up to the City to deal with the historic bridge that Alderman Nick Haddad (First Ward) recently called "the ticking time bomb in Hudson."
At its meeting on Tuesday, the Common Council passed a resolution allocating $30,000 for a feasibility study on replacing the Ferry Street Bridge and authorizing the mayor to "solicit for and enter into a contract" for such a study.
On Thursday, at the Economic Development Committee meeting, Council president Don Moore instructed Bill Roehr of TGW Consultants, the group that is retained by the City and Hudson Development Corporation to identify potential grant funding and prepare grant applications, to focus all efforts on finding funding for the bridge. Alderman John Friedman (Third Ward), however, declared, "We need emergency funding tout de suite." He went on to say, "We can't wait for the grant cycle--it's too political." Friedman seemed to think one of the sources of funding might be Columbia County, implying the the County had money available for such things when he observed, "Bridges throughout the county get fixed"--overlooking the bridges in Columbia County that have been closed rather than repaired.
It is expected that a new bridge over the railroad tracks to the riverfront will cost $2 million--"more," Moore opined, "if we want it to have any character." In the past, Moore has spoken of the possibility of retaining or replicating the more visible parts of the 1905 bridge, the historic significance of which rates 7 on a scale of 1 to 10.
Haddad stressed the urgency of the situation by saying, "The moment this [feasibility] study comes in, we have to fast-track it." He then expressed a different concern: "The more attention we bring to this bridge, we may end up with it closed."
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