Rebuild the Fleischmanns bridge

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To The Editor:
According to the Delaware County Public Works Department (DCPW), four bridges were destroyed (and many others damaged) in the Town of Middletown in August of 2011 during Hurricane Irene.  Two of the four missing bridges have been completely rebuilt.  The two that remain missing and the subject of much debate are both located in the Village of Fleischmanns! 
The voice of the people has been captured in a petition listing over 1,300 who reside, work, visit or otherwise participate in the life of the village asking to rebuild the vehicular Bridge Street bridge which was submitted to DCPW.

FEMA awarded $2.5 million to DCPW to rebuild this bridge.

Yet the DCPW, under the auspices of the Delaware County Board of Supervisors, says that they will likely not replace the bridge as a vehicular bridge despite its having served as a main artery of the village.  The reason given is that any new bridge is required to be much larger in design.  The DCPW has just completed some repairs on the Depot Street bridge, which did withstand the storm at the other end of the village adhering to its old dimensions.  Yet the exact same water flow would need to pass under both bridges! 

According to DCPW’s own standards, the Bridge Street bridge had fallen below an acceptable level of safety prior to Hurricane Irene.  Why, then, wasn’t the bridge being maintained by the county?  Where were the rules and regulations then?

Delaware County Public Works should now rebuild the vehicular bridge on Bridge Street at or near its former footprint.

Build the bridge; it’s called “Bridge Street!”

John R. Mulloy,
Fleischmanns