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Mamaroneck bridge project to mitigate flooding hits roadblock

The Town of Mamaroneck owns the bridge and has agreed to undertake a $4.54 million project to replace the bridge and widen the channel 9 feet.

Nadia Galindo

Nov 3, 2023, 10:23 PM

Updated 227 days ago


A seemingly docile river has earned a bad reputation in Mamaroneck.
"I've been here 17 years and that's our fourth flood," said Dean Bellatoni, Owner, UFC Gym.
News 12 visited Bellatoni in 2018 following one of those floods that infiltrated his building and damaged equipment.
"I don't know how much longer I can last," said Bellatoni.
His business is near the Sheldrake River. The flooding is exacerbated by the Waverly Avenue bridge, which was built in 1931 and constricts the water flow.
The Town of Mamaroneck owns the bridge and has agreed to undertake a $4.54 million project to replace the bridge and widen the channel 9 feet.
The town's contractor started work on Oct. 20 and put up barricades closing traffic across the bridge, but they were later removed by the village.
"The reason we reopened the bridge was because it was a dangerous situation," said Mamaroneck Mayor Thomas Murphy.
Mayor Murphy said the bridge closure caused traffic to back all the way up to I-95.
He wants the town to reimburse up to $728,000 to village police for overtime for traffic control.
"I'd like to work with the town to come to a successful resolution, but we need a partner," he said.
Town officials said they were blind-sighted.
"We had meetings since 2019 that the village was present at," said Town Supervisor Jaine Elking Eney. "They had the plans, none of the plans called for police overtime. "They never mentioned it."
It's a claim Murphy disputes.
"Our chief was at seven meetings where she brought it up to the town," he said.
Elking Eney said traffic control is not required by the New York State Department of Transportation, which deemed the bridge structurally deficient, but said nonetheless the town has made a reasonable proposal for police presence at the town's expense for a limited period of time so the public can become accustomed to the closure which is expected to last about 10 months.
"I really, really hope that the village will try to resume with civility that we've always worked together," said Elking Eney. "We have a long-standing history and I think the residents all benefit when we work together."
Residents who live near the bridge are frustrated that the project has not started.
"That should have been ironed out way before the project started, but especially they shouldn't have pulled the project," said James Abbate.
He and other members of the Washingtonville Neighborhood Association said the project's delay means the potential for more flooding.
"We got flooded again three weeks ago," he said. "It's a big problem and for them to pull the plug again what if it rained again two days from now?"
Both the town and village can agree on one thing, the project needs to get started, its what residents deserve.
Town and village officials said they are working on a compromise and will meet Monday.

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