Hudson Valley Bridge ‘at risk’ puts more than 100,000 people at risk in New York City

Senior officials are sounding the alarm about a “risky” bridge over the Hudson River that is held up by a few wooden sticks and could endanger more than 100,000 residents.

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US Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer is sounding the alarm on a potentially risky bridge with the Hudson Valley.

Citing concerns about the safety of the CSX rail bridge located just south of Blue Point between Highland and Milton in Ulster County, New York, Schumer asked the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to conduct an independent safety inspection of the Blue Point rail bridge located on the CSX freight line.

“With countless businesses and homes at risk and more than 100,000 Hudson Valley residents relying on the Hudson for drinking water, Schumer demands an immediate and independent investigation,” Schumer’s office said in A press release.

The bridge – which was temporarily reinforced last year and is actively monitored by CSX – is still rigged by a jury and local residents and stakeholders are concerned about the potential safety and environmental issues it poses.

Schumer noted that a spill or derailment along the freight line could have dire public health, environmental and safety consequences for the Hudson Valley region.

“A jury-rigged bridge is hardly a long-term solution to ensuring the safety of the CSX freight rail at the Blue Point rail bridge,” Schumer said. “Ulster County and surrounding communities are on board for an independent safety review by the federal government, which should grease the skates in the interest of the health and safety of the entire region and bring peace of mind. of spirit to the residents of the Hudson Valley on both sides of the Hudson. “

Riverkeeper posted photos of the bridge last month that show wooden sticks bolted together. Riverkeeper believes the steel girders sagged at the north end of the bridge

“Riverkeeper continues to be extremely concerned about the structural integrity of this failing railway bridge. Is it still strong enough to withstand the kilometer-long freight trains it carries daily? Has the safety margin been lost? daily rail traffic continues to weaken the bridge and compromise even temporary repairs? For months, Riverkeeper demanded an immediate and independent inspection, ”said Riverkeeper Vice President John Lipscomb.

This specific line of CSX is no stranger to terrifying incidents, according to Schumer’s office. In March 2017, a CSX freight train derailed in the city of Newburgh while carrying hazardous chemicals, including sulfuric acid and sodium hydroxide.

CSX freight trains carry a variety of different products, including petroleum and liquid chemicals, which means that if a train containing hazardous materials were to derail as a result of a dangerous bridge, the safety of the entire region. of the Hudson Valley could be compromised.

In the March 2017 incident, Schumer said 4,600 gallons of diesel fuel were spilled near the Hudson River and four people were injured. Schumer explained that this could have been dire if any of the hazardous chemicals had spilled out of the cars.

Check out the must-see photos of the Newburgh train derailment below:

Highlighting the deteriorating condition of the Blue Point railway bridge, Schumer said the FRA must now take action.

Schumer also noted that the threat is particularly heightened due to the proximity of the Blue Point Bridge to the Hudson River drinking water intakes, which serve more than 106,000 residents in seven Hudson Valley communities in the Counties of Ulster and Dutchess, including the Town of Esopus, the Town of Hyde Park, the Town of Lloyd, the Town and Town of Poughkeepsie, and the Town and Village of Rhinebeck.

Senator Schumer’s letter to FRA appears below:

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