Tonko: Bridge project waiting for final state approval

AMSTERDAM-U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko, D-Amsterdam, said Wednesday the construction of a proposed pedestrian bridge is expected to go forward sometime this year.

Tonko said contract approvals for the project have gone over to the state Comptroller’s Office, and a design has been chosen for the bridge.

“It is starting this year,” Tonko said.

The final design and bids have been established, according to Tonko.

Tonko said the current bridge design is based off Native American culture, in a S-shape with no harsh angles of more than 90 degrees. It will have lookouts and will connect into the general proximity of where Main Street and Market Street intersect and where the Bridge Street bridge used to be.

Tonko said once approval is secured contractors can move forward with the project as soon as the weather is warm enough this season.

The bridge is part of the city’s waterfront revitalization project, which includes the repairs to Riverlink Park and will continue with an elevated walkway to downtown and the Guy Park Trail.

The funding for the project, $16.5 million, is part of $50 million set aside in the 2005 Transportation Bond Act for canal-related projects.

The construction of the project is roughly $12 million, according to Tonko.

Construction of the bridge is expected to be completed by June 2015.

In 2005, New York state voters approved the Rebuild and Renew Transportation Bond Act, which allocated funds specifically for the Amsterdam Pedestrian Bridge.

Other agencies involved in the planning and permitting of the project include: the U.S. Coast Guard; the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; the state Department of Environmental Conservation; the state Department of Transportation; the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; and the city.