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For Immediate Release
October 20, 2011

Bridge Authority Bridges Well Maintained; Safe

Highland, NY – With recent attention on the need to improving bridge conditions throughout the country, travelers across the Bridge Authority’s five Mid-Hudson region bridges can rest assured that these bridges are well maintained and safe.

“We want to assure the residents of the Hudson Valley that our bridges are inspected every year, well maintained, safe and in good condition,” Authority Executive Director Joseph Ruggiero said today.

The Bridge Authority owns and operated the Bear Mountain, Newburgh-Beacon, Mid-Hudson, Kingston-Rhinecliff and Rip Van Winkle vehicle bridges.

A report by the Transportation for America advocacy group noted that many of the nation’s bridges are in need of repair. The report also pointed to the need to do repairs and maintenance on bridges across the region. Transportation for America called for greater funding for bridge and highway maintenance.

Ruggiero noted that the Authority takes a great deal of pride in its programs. “We do not receive federal or state taxpayer funding to maintain our facilities. We rely solely on the tolls we collect and reinvest toll revenues directly into our facilities. The Bridge Authority has an aggressive long-range plan to insure continued safe operation of these critical bridges.”

More than 58 million vehicles crossed these bridges in 2010.

Ruggiero said that each bridge receives a full inspection every two years under federal and state guidelines and the Bridge Authority goes a step further by having that inspection report updated every year.

All five bridges have a rating of “5”, the highest rating that can be achieved for the older bridges that the Bridge Authority owns.

“Bridges require regular, well designed maintenance. Our maintenance programs are proactive, address concerns and look to the future before we have major problems,” Ruggiero said. “With several of our bridges approaching a hundred years old, the diligence we apply to maintenance is even more critical to make sure our bridges continue to provide safe and reliable service.