July 27, 2012 -- County Executive Robert P. Astorino sent a $1.5 million capital budget amendment to the Board of Legislators (BOL) Friday that would finance immediate work on the Ashford Avenue Bridge connecting Ardsley and Dobbs Ferry.

As soon as the BOL approves the budget amendment, financing will be in place to pay for the stabilization of the existing concrete bridge piers and structures currently underway.

The stabilization work and capital budget amendment are the outgrowth of a meeting Astorino initiated on July 12 with local, county, state and federal officials to accelerate immediate repairs on the bridge, which had already been targeted for a comprehensive, long-term rehabilitation. Because of the complex nature of the bridge project, involving multiple layers of government, a capital budget amendment was determined to be the fastest and most reliable way to expedite financing for immediate repairs.

The urgency behind the work became apparent on June 22 when concrete facing from the sides of the bridge fell onto the New York State Thruway below. In the immediate aftermath, the county executive directed the county's Department of Public Works/Transportation to intensify inspections of the bridge.

"While the long-term repair process has already begun, this new effort will address the immediate needs of the bridge," Astorino said. "I urge the board to take prompt action to approve the financing."

Money from the capital budget amendment will go for immediate work. This money is in addition to the $20 million already designated for the long-term rehabilitation of the county-owned Ashford Avenue Bridge, which is being financed with a combination of federal, state and county funds.

Astorino assured the public that the bridge is safe. "Engineers from the county and the state have inspected it and will continue to inspect it," he said. "But at the same time, I am urging action on this capital project to stabilize the bridge further."