Restore Fleischmanns bridge

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To The Editor:
One year ago Hurricane Irene ravaged our community. One year later in Fleischmanns, we are still without the restoration of a valuable infrastructure: the bridge on Bridge Street.

I want to be counted among the over 600 individuals who have signed a petition asking that the bridge on Bridge Street be restored to it pre-flood condition as a vehicular bridge.

We have been patient and have waited for positive results. We have heard a never-ending string of statistics and “reasons why” our bridge cannot be restored. We have been told that money from FEMA would be better spent on the repair of other bridges in Fleischmanns. That may be a good statistical solution, however, in my view, it is not a positive plan for the future of our historic village.

At the September 6 Special Information Meeting to discuss this issue, one Fleischmanns resident had an excellent idea that a temporary bridge be erected. While the village and county continue to debate the issue, a temporary vehicular bridge would restore a much-needed use and functionality to our village.

The bridge on Bridge Street ties our whole village together. It connects the commercial part of Main Street to the historic district of Victorian homes on Wagner Avenue. It eases access to our wonderful ball field, our tennis courts, our community pool, our children’s playground and a historic synagogue. Without the bridge on Bridge Street, our village is cut in half: two vital arteries running parallel, but unable to connect at their hearts.

And most importantly, safety factors including access for emergency vehicles are an important and obvious reason the bridge needs to be restored.

Fleischmanns is located at the most eastern end of Delaware County. We would like to think that we are considered the “first village” and not the “last village” of the county. We have a street named Lake Street, but some time ago the dam was demolished by the DEP and there is no more lake. Now we also have a street named Bridge Street, but here is no bridge. Slowly our village is being diminished and we are hurting with each loss.

For several years community residents and leaders have worked together to better our village. Many of us feel that without full restoration of the bridge on Bridge Street, the viability and future economic development of Fleischmanns is compromised.

We are beseeching our elected officials in Fleischmanns and Delaware County to design and implement a viable solution to restore a vehicular bridge on Bridge Street.
Please hear our voice. Please restore our bridge.

Anita Rubin,
Fleischmanns