The replacement of this important bridge is on indefinite hold. Since the release of the State-wide High Speed Rail Plan Draft Environmental Impact Statement, NYSDOT and Federal Rail have made no progress towards replacement of the bridge – this is due in part to the lack of federal infrastructure funding that would be needed for the State to afford reconstruction or replacement of the bridge. In May of 2016, Amtrak elected to put a very expensive band-aid on the bridge, making its immediate replacement all the more unlikely. In fact, replacement of the Livingston Avenue Bridge and Walkway Could be a decade out, reading into to a press release by design engineering firm Modjeski and Masters, working under contract from Amtrak.
The firm has announced they will “provide rehabilitation engineering to key portions… intended to extend the useful life of the bridge’s electrical and mechanical systems by 10 years and increase its reliability for both freight and passenger rail traffic.” Thus, until the funds are available to replace this structure, we’re sitting in a holding pattern.
Its unlikely, but not impossible, that Federal capital funds would be programmed for bridge improvements if significant capital investment was right around the corner. Why paint the bathroom in March if it’s going to be replaced in July?
So, like the bridge has for more than three decades, we await the day when this aging, critical connection gets the green light for replacement – and it’s determined once and for all, that bike and pesestrian access will restored on the new structure.
*this post has been revised thanks to a correction note*