Morristown bridge removal to benefit boaters, environment, officials say

Published: May. 10, 2022 at 6:05 PM EDT
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MORRISTOWN, New York (WWNY) - It’s a “more natural flow” for boats after an old bridge is removed in St. Lawrence County.

The Northumberland Street bridge in Morristown is being removed. This is a $2.1 million project.

It’s part of the REDI project or Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative. This was in response to the major floods in 2017 and 2019 along the shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.

Department of Transportation Assistant Commissioner Sean Hennessey says the removal of the Northumberland bridge is a key component of the REDI project.

“Morristown is a beautiful community and I’m just happy to be here today,” he said. “We’re going to see a lot more boaters coming into this beautiful init here. And that’s going to make sure this community thrives not only for now but also for the future.”

Hennessey says with the bridge gone, there will be less damage to the water and the sewer lines that it carried.

St. Lawrence County Highway Superintendent Donald Chambers says the sewer lines were removed and run under the bay to facilitate this deconstruction.

“So, it’s the resiliency, the economic benefit of opening up the bay, and also the environmental benefit of allowing more natural flow,” he said.

A more natural flow for boats, officials say.

“Making it more accessible for boaters maybe coming from the north or surrounding communities,” said Hennessey.

Brian Hurlbut, who is the engineer in charge, says workers are going to bring the water down to a deeper elevation.

“Right now it’s a 45-foot opening, and it will become about a 130 on the base of the riverbed - about 230 from shoreline to shoreline,” he said.

County officials say once the bridge is fully removed and a waterway for boats is expanded, they’re planning to put landscaping and benches along the shoreline.

The project is expected to be completed in July.

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