By CHRIS EBERHART
The cones and “Road Closed” sign that have blocked access to the Parkway Road Bridge between Bronxville and Yonkers may be taken down in the coming months.
Although there’s no official agreement in place yet, Eastchester Town Supervisor Anthony Colavita, a Republican, said all parties involved with the bridge—the Town of Eastchester, the Village of Bronxville, the City of Yonkers and Westchester County—have been in negotiations and have pledged money towards the refurbishment project, which has been the center of jurisdictional bickering.
The bridge has been officially closed by the New York State Department of Transportation since July 2013 after a routine inspection in May revealed structural damage to the bridge and ordered for repairs to be done.
Six weeks passed without repair work, which prompted the Department of Transportation to shut the bridge down until work was completed.
During those six weeks—and up until recently—squabbles among Eastchester, Bronxville, Yonkers and Westchester County over who is responsible to fund the construction prevented any repair work from being done.
Colavita said the project will cost approximately $120,000 with each municipality expected to chip-in.
According to Colavita, Westchester County and Yonkers pledged between $20,000 and $30,000 each and Eastchester authorized a $50,000 bond during the April 22 town board meeting to fix the bridge as part of its $1.53 million capital budget, which passed during the same meeting. It is still unclear how much Eastchester or Bronxville will pump into the project.
Bronxville Mayor Mary Marvin, a Republican, said the village is “on the cusp of working something out” and did not want to disclose details until everything was finalized.
Still, Colavita said he was encouraged by the progress and said working out an inter-municipal agreement was a more cost effective solution than litigation, which Bronxville threatened to do after filing a notice of claim in September 2013 saying Eastchester was responsible for funding the repairs.
“I’m delighted that the municipalities that are connected with the bridge are sharing in the expense. It’s far more cost effective to have everyone participating than spending half million dollars in litigation to decide who’s the responsible party,” Colavita said.
Because there’s no official agreement in place, there’s no set timeline for when construction will start and end, but Colavita said he expects a formal agreement among the parties to be in place within the next 30 days and hopes construction can begin by the summertime.
“There haven’t been too many complaints about the bridge. I think some people like that there is no traffic cutting through their neighborhood, but it’s got to be fixed,” Colavita said.
The crux of the issue that’s held the process up lies in the location of the bridge and conflicting laws.
The bridge is located in parts of both Bronxville and Yonkers and overlooks the Bronx River, which is owned by the county.
Mixed in with the border-sharing dilemma are contradicting laws.
Bronxville officials have referred to a 1909 state law in which a village is only responsible for bridges within its borders if the bridge was built before 1909 [the Parkway Bridge was built in 1952], but Colavita said the Department of Transportation records have Bronxville listed as the
“It’s a gray area,” Colavita said. “There are conflicting laws on the books. What’s important is that all parties are talking and are willing to share in the expense.”
Yonkers Democratic Mayor Mike Spano and a county representative did not return calls for comment as of press time.