MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – Democratic legislators on the Westchester County Board of Legislators are irate that the Fulton Avenue Bridge, which connects Mount Vernon and Pelham, over the Hutchinson River is closed, blaming Republican County Executive Rob Astorino for not fixing it three years ago.
County Legislator Lyndon Williams, who represents Mount Vernon said approximately $6 million was approved by the County Board for repairs to the bridge three years ago but Astorino vetoed it. County Legislator Bill Ryan said that it wouldn’t have been a big hit on the operating budget to fix the bridge since the county would have bonded the cost for at least 15 years.
Astorino said that the county will do everything possible to expedite the repair of the bridge, which will be closed indefinitely until it is fixed.
“We know this is a major inconvenience for people who live in the area as well as merchants,” Astorino said in a news release.
But Williams said that Astorino had the opportunity to prevent the problem, adding that there is no excuse for the Fulton Avenue Bridge, built in 1974, to be in its “deplorable condition.” Williams said that closing the bridge will be negative for the businesses and the county since potential shoppers will have to take a different path to cross into the neighboring municipalities.
“People are going to have to spend more money on gas and the restaurants and stores will lose customers which will have a negative effect on the economy,” Williams said. "Plus the county is going to lose money on sales tax."
Mount Vernon Councilwoman Deborah Reynolds, a Democrat, said that it is ridiculous that people will now have to drive out of their way to get to Pelham.
“This bridge is used by a lot of people from other communities,” Reynolds said.