Engineering firm SLR presented concepts for an enhanced Bridge Street Bridge in Phoenicia before the Shandaken Town Board on February 6. The presentation was recorded by Spectrum Channel 23 and is available for viewing (minute 21 of video).
The County’s Bridge Street Bridge in Phoenicia was underwater during Tropical Storm Irene in 2011 and partially blocks Esopus Creek streamflows during large floods. The Ulster County Department of Public Works in collaboration with the Town of Shandaken and Ashokan Watershed Stream Management Program hired SLR to develop designs for a new bridge. The project’s goals include reducing flood elevations and protecting the bridge from flood damage.
SLR presented computer models showing the bridge’s effect on flooding in Phoenicia and the ability of alternative bridge designs to reduce flood impacts. Bridge Alternatives 2 and 3 in the presentation slides appear to offer the most benefits while being more feasible to construct than Alternative 4.
Alternative 2 is a 290-foot bridge with a low chord about five feet higher than the current bridge. Alternative 3 is a 350-foot bridge with a similar height. Both bridge designs pass the modeled 100-year flood flows occurring simultaneously on the Stony Clove Creek and Esopus Creek. The bridge designs also pass future flows adjusted for climate change during the lifespan of the bridge. In addition, both bridge options reduce flood levels upstream and downstream of the bridge, with an up to 4-foot reduction immediately adjacent to the bridge.
One step needed to achieve flood reduction benefits is to elevate Bridge Street and the Station Road and High Street intersections. Alternative 3 includes relocation of Station Road to allow for a longer span bridge. Both alternatives impact nearby properties.
The second of three public meetings about the Bridge Street Bridge will be held later in 2023. SLR and Ulster County are now seeking public input from the Phoenicia and Shandaken community on the bridge replacement and design features such as sidewalks, bike lanes, and other use accommodations.
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