CONEWANGO - The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved $2 million for the Route 62 Mud Creek Bridge.
On Friday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office announced $47.8 million in federal funding for hardening 20 bridges that cross water and are vulnerable to foundation erosion throughout the state. The funding is available through Federal Emergency Management Agency's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, which aims to increase resiliency, reduce hardship and mitigate the risks of loss and damage from natural disasters.
The Route 62 Mud Creek Bridge is in the town of Conewango in Cattaraugus County.
The highway at this location carries an average of 1,420 vehicles per day. This 50-foot concrete T-beam bridge on concrete abutments founded on timber piles was constructed in 1934.
Route 62 and this bridge serve as a connector to state Route 241 and state Route 83.
"Part of adjusting to the new reality of extreme weather means we must bolster our infrastructure to be stronger than it ever was before - so that we rebuild with the next major storm in mind," Cuomo said.
"This investment allows us to make bridges across the state more resilient in the face of severe weather, and that means safer communities for the future."
Cuomo has requested a total of $518 million in federal funding to strengthen 105 bridges across the state.
The bridges could be subject to scour, which erodes foundation materials, such as sand and rocks, from around and beneath bridge abutments, piers, foundations and embankments.
Upgrading these bridges will help protect critical transportation routes across the state, ensuring access to emergency services during and after flood events and reducing the risk of flooding where bridge openings cause rivers and streams to back up.
"Bridges in the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes play critical roles in our everyday lives, but because of New York's ever-changing weather, many bridges are in need of repair," said Congressman Tom Reed, R-Corning.
"We're proud to partner with state and local leaders to make sure our area bridges are safe and reliable for all who use them. Between strengthening basic infrastructure and flood mitigation efforts, these are much-needed repairs that care for public safety and are a fair use of taxpayer dollars everyone benefits from. It's the right thing to do and I'm happy to see these projects moving forward."
In June 2013, Cuomo announced a call for projects to be funded by the hazard mitigation program to help rebuild stronger, more sustainable communities. The applications continue to be reviewed by federal officials and state officials await their approval.
The bridge scour program is the product of an unprecedented collaboration between the state's Department of Transportation, Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, Governor's Office of Storm Recovery and dozens of local governments.
The bridge scour program will be paid for with a mix of funding from Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. No state funding will be required.
Federal Emergency Management Agency's grant approval enables the state Department of Transportation to contract for the bridge improvement work, including upgrading concrete bridge abutments by adding steel or concrete pile foundations, increasing the size of waterway openings to meet 100-year flood projections and reducing or eliminating the number of bridge piers in the water to prevent ice jams that can flood surrounding areas.