Demolition of the old portions of the Popham Road Bridge is set for June 18th through the end of July and some residents are not happy. The trouble is that the work will be done at night, between 9 pm and 5 am and will utilize drills, jackhammers and backhoes. The plan is to demolish the concrete deck, concrete abutments, concrete footings and structural steel – and this work needs to be done at night for safety reasons. Due to requirements from Metro North, the demolition has to done when the trains are out of service.
According to an email from Scarsdale Village, “the noise level will vary in intensity depending on the type of demolition being performed. The Village has directed the contractor, whenever possible, to perform the noisiest work at the beginning part of the night. “
Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner who represents residents who live on the Edgemont side of the bridge, says that he has already received complaints about noise from those who live on the west side of the Bronx River Parkway near the bridge.
He is currently circulating these two emails:
With all due respect, we are working people and need to sleep. This is a form of torture. It is after 11 p.m. and the drilling is keeping me awake. I need to get up at 5 a.m. This is unbearable.
Please make them stop.
Just to point out that it is 3:07 am and the house is wide awake from the jack hammering. This is UNACCEPTABLE!!! I trust this will not happen again and ask assurance that no jack hammering will happen again after midnight.
In response, Feiner says that he “reached out” to Scarsdale Village to ask them or the contractor to pay for hotel stays for residents who live near the bridge and are adversely affected by the noise.
However, Village Manager Al Gatta explained that though it is unfortunate that the work has to be done in the wee hours of the morning, housing residents in hotels is not an option. Here is his reply to Feiner:
We are on Stage 3 relative to the Popham Road Bridge construction. Stage 3 is the last intensive stage of work and involves demolition of footings, abutments, structural steel in the center of the old bridge and the concrete road deck (the north and south wings of the new structure are already in place). Since this work is being conducted over the tracks, Metro North insists that it be performed only between the hours of 2 AM and 5 AM when there are no trains running. This is well understood by all involved as we must protect the tracks for the safety of passengers.
It is unfortunate that is work must occur between 2 AM and 5 AM and we understand that there will be some disturbance for residents and neighbors, but there are just no other options. The Popham Road Bridge is over 100 years old and should have been replaced a quarter of a century ago, but because of its age, number of public agencies involved, tedious amount of work that must be done over the tracks, a small work area making it extremely difficult and expensive for a contractor to maneuver and little construction storage area, Metro North would not step forward to take responsibility for being the prime project sponsor. Keep in mind that the bridge structure is the property of Metro North and the Village only owns the road base.
The Village did step forward as the project sponsor and as such dedicated its staff and local resources for building a new bridge. The Village as the sponsor ensured that the new bridge would be more than just a “span over rail tracks”, the kind typically built by Metro North. The bridge needed to be replaced as the old one was deteriorating and the Village believed its leadership was necessary to assure that the final product would be not just a bridge, but an aesthetically pleasant, pedestrian friendly, landscaped public thoroughfare that would be functional for regulating traffic.
The Village in stepping forward assumed all of the risks and the unknowns that replacing a 100 year structure can cause relative cost overruns, construction delays, noise and disruption of retail businesses, pedestrian travel and traffic.
As the project sponsor the Village is extremely sorry for any disturbance that has occurred and will occur for the night work that must continue through the end of July. But there are just no other options. The suggestion that the Village or the contractor provide alternative living accommodations is just not possible in this construction project.