(1)On July 21, 2010, NYS Governor David Paterson finally signed June, 2010 legislation that directs the New York State Bridge Authority to take title to the entire 6,767-foot-long Poughkeepsie Bridge, including both the eastern and western approach viaducts (iron) and the overwater portion (steel).This excellently-worded legislation does not create any discretionary opt-out by the Bridge Authority, so NYSBA must comply.
(2)The original legislative bills were introduced by Assemblyman Frank Skartados (D.-Milton) and--five months later--Senator Jose Serrano (D.-The Bronx). None of the Dutchess County Senators could be bothered to lift a finger.
(3)The Bridge Authority is now working on getting its "paperwork" burden completed, with a goal of taking title to the entire Bridge by the end of CY2010. Its spearhead is the dedicated NYSBA executive, John Bellucci, whose office is located at the toll plaza for the Mid-Hudson highway bridge, in Highland, NY. NYSBA now owns and operates six highway bridges (see list below) across the Hudson, with ample liability insurance and "deep-pockets" maintenance and overhaul resources. Its bridge engineering firm is world-famous Modjewski and Masters, which routinely inspected and repaired the NYNH&H Poughkeepsie (railroad) Bridge for many decades and which will do a long-overdue new bridge inspection as soon as NYSBA can take title to it all.
(a)Bear Mountain Bridge (originally built privately by the Harriman family)
(b)+(c)Beacon-Newburgh Bridge (2 separate bridges on I-84)
(d)Mid-Hudson Bridge (Poughkeepsie to Highland)
(e)Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge (north of both points)
(f)Rip Van Winkle Bridge (Catskill area to Hudson area)
(4)In the interim:
(a)The Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad Bridge Company, Inc., the New York nonprofit corporation of the "Walkway Over The Hudson" volunteer group, conveyed title to the eastern approach viaduct-only to the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, State of New York, shortly after the October 3, 2009 grand-opening. NYS Parks must now convey this portion of the Bridge to the New York State Bridge Authority. (SOURCE: Erik Kulleseid, Director: Open Space Preservation, NYS OPRHP, by email to this writer dated October 15, 2009.)
(b)Until such time as the Bridge Authority can legally accept title to the rest of the Bridge from the Walkway corporation, there is little or no liability insurance on the structure west of the eastern shore of the Hudson River, and no maintenance guarantees by any New York State entity with the "deep pockets" necessary to properly maintain this 121-year-old structure. Indeed, the entire Bridge has lacked most, if not all, liability insurance, as well as routine maintenance, from October 2, 1984 (when CONRAIL sold it for one dollar to Gordon Schreiber Miller, a convicted felon from suburban Philadelphia) to the present date, excepting only Walkway construction in CY2009. Incredibly, the Walkway Group acquired the Bridge from Gordon Schreiber Miller's successor, Vito Moreno, in June, 1998, and has "gone bare" on most (if not all) liability insurance, as well as necessary maintenance, for 12 long years at this writing. It is difficult to imagine a more potentially-destructive action by an organization that has allegedly been acting in the public interest. Its Board of Directors had better pray that nothing drastic befalls the Poughkeepsie Bridge under their "stewardship" until NYSBA can take formal title to it all. (Google "Kinzua Bridge" to find the Wikipedia article on that similar structure's 30-second-long toppling by a tornado, in CY2003.)
(5)SEE the Wikipedia article on the Poughkeepsie Bridge: find it by Googling "Poughkeesie Bridge".