Serving the Hudson Valley

Hudson Valley News: Counties to Buy Tappan Zee Bridge Plates; Federal Investment for Economic Development Strategies

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Orange County’s request for 14 of the deck panels that will be salvaged from the old Tappan Zee Bridge was approved Monday for $1 per panel, including delivery. Orange County is one of eight, along with four regional offices of the state Department of Transportation, that got in line when the New York State Thruway Authority announced 150 relatively new panels would be available at below-market prices before the old bridge was demolished. The plan was incorporated in the Thruway Authority’s contract with Tappan Zee Constructors, the consortium that is building the new $3.9 billion bridge.

Orange County is already designing a series of bridge projects to accept the panels, predicting they will shorten construction timetables and shave costs. The other counties – Monroe, Chemung, Essex, Allegany, Steuben, Wyoming and Livingston – plan to do the same thing.

As required by law in disposing of any of its assets, the authority had the panels’ worth estimated against the public benefit of selling them for less than market value. The conclusion was that the panels, 5 to 9 years old, had a value of $4 million – most of which was the cost of removing them from the old bridge and delivering them.On average, the prefabricated concrete and steel slabs are 13 feet wide, 50 feet long and 8-1/2 inches thick and weigh 50 tons.

Representative Sean Patrick Maloney announced a federal investment of $70,000 to help the Hudson Valley Regional Council develop and implement a comprehensive economic development strategy for seven counties in the Hudson Valley. The investment, made through the Economic Development Administration (EDA), will be matched by an equal contribution from the counties themselves.

This EDA planning investment supports the development and implementation of a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) for the region served by the Hudson Valley Regional Council, which comprises the counties of Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, and Westchester; and the cities of Yonkers, Mount Vernon, Newburgh, Kingston, Poughkeepsie, and Middletown. The CEDS process is designed to bring together the public and private sectors in the creation of an economic development roadmap to diversify and strengthen the regional economy.

Representative Maloney:

The Hudson Valley isn’t immune to the effects of bad trade deals or changes in the global economy, and we need a new vision for getting people back to work and growing our local economy. “No one can do this on their own, and by partnering together we can be sure our team in the Hudson Valley has the tools they need to get this plan in action as soon as possible.”

Hudson Valley Regional Council Executive Director, Patricia Pomeroy:

Hudson Valley Regional Council greatly appreciates the continuation of our EDA Planning Funding. We are currently working on the annual update of our Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy and will soon begin the update of the entire document in 2018. This grant is matched by the seven County Governments that comprise the Regional Council – Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester. The CEDS is an important aspect in charting the economic present and future of the region based on actual data, trends, clusters and job retention and growth.”

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