Otto Vondrak wrote:
Sarge wrote:I have mixed feelings; in tight economic times, it's hard to justify maintaining a bridge which serves no purpose. On the other hand, in an almost fully developed lower Westchester, open space is hard to come by. Sometimes "pocket parks" are the only way to do it.
As far as I am concerned, the bridge does not need $2 million worth of work to maintain the status quo. The bridge is not in danger of falling down, it is not derelict. If they are willing to spend $700,000 on demolition (I would at least double that figure), they should be able to find money to restore the surface finish.
Perhaps Pelham is trying to devalue the neighborhood in an attempt to make additional land grabs and build more McMansions that will have higher tax values than the current properties there?
It's the only surviving NYW&B bridge in the county. It's worth saving.
Is it true it's the only remaining bridge? You must mean it's the only railroad overpass, right? There are still road overpasses like North Av (with it's underground station), Heathcote at the end of Weaver St, Bryant Av, Ridgweay, etc.?
Don't get me wrong, I agree with you on saving the bridge, for some of the same reasons. It's as if it were hallowed railroad ground.
I don't necessarily think it's a land grab; Pelham is grappling with a situation many communites are; higher costs and lower revenue. Make of that situation what you will, but they were probably approached by a developer and they have a fiduciary duty to taxpayers to see what the benefit is. But let's face it; a pocket park on the last bridge of the NYW&B may be nice, and I would prefer that, but would it get a lot of use? That's like my dream of restoring service "around the horn", or to Ridgefield, or Hopewell Junction, or, more on point, extending the Dyre Av line a mile or so into Mt. Vernon, etc., etc.
I also agree with you on the stated costs; it always amazes me how difficult and expensive it is to tear something down these days. I can't imagine that it would cost 700k to tear down that bridge; to me it would take one day and a wrecking ball. That costs $700k? I suppose that's what it's come down to, and your surmise it would cost more is just as likely as mine that it shouldn't cost nearly as much (we could try a couple M80's inserted into cracks in the concrete; just kidding). Restoration and maintenance costs may be overstated, too, but you are dealing with probably a requirement for a contractor with union employees and a high cost concrete industry.
Lastly, my bet is we end up with almost the status quo; repairs necessary to prevent the further deterioration of the structure, but not restoration. I just have a hard time with the economics of the doing something with the bridge. I don't remember how many homes were planned (I think that's in another thread), but you have to factor in the demo cost into the return on the new homes. What is the value of the acreage to be gained for development?