Hardenburgh board failed to act

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To The Editor:
We live at 3 Hinckley Road, Millbrook Road, Town of Hardenburgh. We were informed on Thursday, Oct.17 that the bridge that services our home and five other parcels of land had been officially closed. This message came after a DOT scheduled bridge inspection. We were aware in the past several years that there had been problems with the structure. These problems were addressed and as time went on the weight limit on the bridge continued to be lowered to three tons. We were told that was the lowest possible limit allowed by DOT.
When we questioned the highway superintendent we were told that the Hardenburgh Town Board was aware last April that the bridge was in very poor condition. DOT bridge engineer Eric Foster had advised the town that he was letting them know that the structure needed to replaced as he doubted it would pass the next inspection, He stated that he was letting the town know this so they had the summer to respond. The town board was made aware of this in letters form the highway department in May and June. The highway department recommended a newly constructed bridge. This was based on the condition of the bridge and the fact that DEC would not issue a permit that did not address the old laid-up rock abutment.
The Hardenburgh Town Board chose not to do anything about the condition of the bridge. Now as winter approaches DOT has closed our bridge. Our question is why did the town board not act on the continued highway department’s recommendations to construct a new bridge for the entire summer construction season?
We are senior citizens and with all seniors we have age appropriate medical conditions that could need an ambulance at any moment. What are we to do with regards to our emergency needs, fuel oil, propane, and normal access to our home? With the town board having prior knowledge of the bridge condition, we think they would be liable to any loss we might incur due to the bridge closure.
In the past we have supported our Hardenburgh Town Board. With town elections coming up we wonder if they have our community’s best interests at heart. We see in the preliminary budget there is no money in the Capital Line Item for bridges, but the board has OK’d a raise in pay for the supervisor?

Marks and Joy Buerge,
Hardenburgh