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Community groups question Pond Eddy bridge proposal

May 22, 2013

[The following] statement [was] read into the minutes of this May 15, 2013 annual meeting [of the New York-Pennsylvania Joint Interstate Bridge Commission with] the below queries. They regard the reputed latest negotiation between the New York State and Pennsylvania Departments of Transportation regarding replacement of the Pond Eddy Bridge, based on the attached document as distributed at the official NYSDOT meeting held at the Sullivan County Government Center on April 26; and on verbal representations made at the meeting and subsequently to the press.

1) Exactly how is it to be explained that this latest bridge proposal is now represented to be on the table, in essence identical to proposals that for more than a decade PennDOT and NYSDOT have argued were too expensive and inadequate; and are now advanced as cheaper and easier?

2) Exactly how is it to be explained that for up to two years of construction, the tens of thousands of recreational users of the Upper Delaware River will be required to portage at Pond Eddy due to the construction of a causeway entirely blocking the river; and especially within the severe geographic constraints at this location?

3) Exactly how is it to be explained that for the period of construction the up-river flooding hazards created by the causeway must be mitigated, and who will bear the financial responsibility of the flooding risks, especially in the present era of enhanced climate-related disturbances?

4) Exactly how is it to be explained to effectively mitigate the harm to the river bottom ecosystem and to the migrating shad (a declining species) by the causeway and other construction activity?

5) Exactly how are the secondary impacts to be explained of the proposed 40-ton bridge at Pond Eddy in anticipation of heavy traffic access to the Pennsylvania State Gamelands for servicing gas extraction?

Friends of the Pond Eddy Bridge
Upper Delaware Preservation Coalition
Highland Concerned Citizens
Damascus Citizens for Sustainability
Delaware Riverkeeper Network
Catskill Mountainkeeper
Delaware Company
Sullivan Renaissance