Claiming Ogdensburg-Prescott Bridge in ‘dire’ need of repair, senators seek $2 million
Tuesday, June 17, 2014 - 6:01 am

OGDENSBURG -- The Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge’s 50-year-old superstructure is in dire need of repairs, officials say, and New York’s two U.S. senators say they are trying to secure $2 million for repair work.

Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand said in a joint press release they are working to get a $2 million federal grant that would rehabilitate the bridge.

The senators announced that they are seeking the funding through the federal Department of Transportation’s TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant program, which provides funding for road, rail, transit and port projects that promise to achieve critical national objectives.

The bridge handles over 800,000 vehicle trips annually and is an important route for billions of dollars of goods each year.

Also known as the St. Lawrence Bridge and the Seaway Skyway, the Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge provides a conduit for the movement of goods and people between the North Country and Canada.

The grant money would go toward maintenance on the bridge’s 50-year-old superstructure, which is in dire need of repairs after decades of erosion, corroding bridge spans and deteriorating concrete. Specifically, the funding would be used to enhance the protection of the bridge’s girder spans from corrosion, strengthening of the bridge’s cables, replacement of deteriorating spans, the repair of leaking concrete anchor piers as well as improvements to the top surface of the bridge.

The project is expected to create an estimated 43 direct jobs and provide a much-needed economic boost to the Ogdensburg area and strengthen the regional economy.

“The Ogdensburg-Prescott Bridge is 50 years old and aging fast, which is why it is so critical that we secure the funding that Ogdensburg needs to make necessary repairs that will ensure the bridge is safe for decades to come,” said Schumer. “This federal funding will not only keep the hundreds of thousands of people that cross the bridge each and every year safe, but it will also benefit the local economy, as this rehabilitation will allow New York businesses to continue transporting goods to Canada and encourage our Canadian neighbors to visit the wonders of the North Country.”

“Investing in transportation infrastructure is one of the fastest and most effective ways to create jobs now, and lay the foundation for more jobs tomorrow,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This is one of the best investments we can make for the North Country region. Federal funding will make critical improvements to the Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge, which is heavily traveled and a central asset to our border economy.”

“Infrastructure is the key to economic opportunity,” said Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority Executive Director Wade A. Davis. “The Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority greatly appreciates the tireless support of U.S. Senators Gillibrand and Schumer as well as other elected officials in supporting the Authority's TIGER V Application. When successful, a TIGER grant will enable the Authority to continue the rehabilitation of a key economic structure for New York.”