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Pond Eddy Bridge project stalls

May 16, 2012

A recent letter by New York State Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther to Governor Andrew Cuomo joins a long list of those opposed to the demolition of the old Pond Eddy Bridge and the construction of a new multimillion-dollar bridge to service a small number of PA residents.

“Ms. Gunther repeated to the governor his statement in the state-of-the-state speech directing that a state-wide review of these infrastructure projects needs to be done,” said Gunther’s aide Steve Wilkensen.

He mentioned that the matter of all the bridges across the Delaware will be taken up at the annual meeting of the Interstate Bridge Commission to be held in Binghamton on May 16. “A discussion of all the bridges hasn’t been done since the ‘80s,” he said.

New York officials have told Gunther they will not move forward with the replacement of the bridge. They are also seeking a review of how the 10 bridges across the Delaware are managed. The formal announcement by the NY Department of Transportation was scheduled to come at a meeting with the PA Department of Transportation in Binghamton on May 16.

Glenn Pontier, an opponent of the new bridge, said that the Friends of the Pond Eddy Bridge would be meeting at the bridge on Saturday, May 19 to oppose the new bridge and promote the rehabilitation of the old one.

“Pennsylvania should provide for its Pond Eddy residents all the same benefits it gives to all its residents,” Pontier said. “Which means that the state should either buy them out or widen an existing road to make it passable.”

Pennsylvania has no right to take down a historic monument that stands in a nationally protected river corridor, he said.

In answer to the oft-repeated objection to taking down the old bridge since it cannot carry heavy equipment like fire trucks, Pontier said that the railroad tracks could be used to transport this equipment, either by a truck along the tracks or a railroad flatcar.