Trapps Bridge Is Fully Open!
Mohonk Preserve kicked off the Trapps Bridge replacement project on Monday, March 6, 2017 at a meeting to formally award the construction contract to Saugerties, New York-based Merritt Construction, Inc. The old Trapps Bridge has been removed and replaced with a prefabricated steel pedestrian bridge with wooden decking, which was fabricated by Cameron Bridge Works, LLC of Elmira, New York.
The new bridge yields greatly improved visibility from the east and west approaches, as well as more accessibility to the trail system on the Preserve, Minnewaska State Park Preserve, and the rest of the Shawangunk Ridge. Fully handicap-accessible parking is located on the south side of the road, and access on the north side features a visitor-friendly ramped, multi-use path so that people of all ages and abilities can safely access and experience the natural wonders of the Gunks.
Thanks to the many Preserve supporters who helped make this new bridge possible!
The saga of the Trapps Bridge dates back to 1930 when New York State Route 44/55 was constructed, improving the then New Paltz and Wawarsing Turnpike, and requiring replacement of the old wooden-deck Smiley Bridge connecting the Undercliff and Overcliff Roads on the east side of the Shawangunk Ridge to Trapps Road on the west side. This crossing still enables travel across what are now Mohonk Preserve lands and linkage to Minnewaska State Park Preserve. A steel railroad bridge was repurposed from another location and set in place in 1930 to provide safe passage over the new highway. While the span served its purpose ably for many years, it eventually became apparent the bridge needed to be replaced and, working with the New York State Department of Transportation, Mohonk Preserve began developing a replacement plan, which has involved a lengthy and costly engineering and approval process.
Bridge Replacement Project
Mohonk Preserve kicked off the project on March 6, 2017 at a meeting to award the construction project to Saugerties, NY-based Merritt Construction Inc. Work on the bridge was completed on June 28, 2017. The prefabricated steel pedestrian bridge with wooden decking is similar in appearance to the Cedar Drive Bridge over Mohonk Road near the Preserve's Spring Farm Trailhead. Finished landscaping in the fall will include new trees and plant species native to the ridge, designed to improve appearance minimize maintenance along the highway corridor.
Banner Photo by Gerald Berliner