Maloney questions slow pace of bridge replacement

U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney used a recent congressional hearing about Hurricane Sandy to press a point he made only last month during a stop in Orange County: Why is it taking so long to replace a New Windsor bridge destroyed by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee more than two years ago?

Speaking to representatives of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Federal Highway Administration, Maloney complained about bureaucratic delays hindering the Forge Hill Road Bridge in New Windsor and other Hudson Valley recovery projects.

“It’s time for results — red tape and bureaucracy have held up critical recovery projects in the Hudson Valley like Forge Hill Road bridge, and there’s no good excuse when folks have been waiting over two years for construction to start,” the Cold Spring Democrat said in remarks later publicized by his office.

While speaking with the Army Corps’ Lt. General Thomas Bostick, Maloney said, “If the 411th Engineer Brigade of the Joint Task Force Empire can quickly build bridges all over Afghanistan in a combat environment, we should be able to get a bridge built in America in less than two years.”

Maloney visited Butternut Drive in New Windsor, the site of the washed-out bridge, last month to announce $2 billion in additional federal funding for storm recovery projects in New York and to criticize the slow progress in New Windsor. Town Supervisor George Green said then that the replacement of the county-owned bridge had been held up by the federal government’s insistence on approving the repair plans.

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