Poughkeepsie Journal—May 14, 1974

State Seeks Quick Repairs On City Bridge

ALBANY - The state is pushing for repairs of the Poughkeepsie Railroad Bridge, damaged in a spectacular fire last Wednesday.

Reacting to Gov. Malcolm Wilson's appeal of Friday for repairs to the bridge, State Transportation Commissioner Raymond T. Schuler and Jervis W. Langdon, president of the Penn Central Railroad Co., met for about two hours Monday in the commissioner's office.

About 700 feet of the 86-year-old span was burned when wooden portions caught fire, apparently from a spark from a train crossing the span.

As a result of the meeting, the railroad is examining the possibility for qualifying for special funds under Section 213A of the Regional Rail Reorganization Act of 1973, a spokesman for the Department of Transportation said today. These funds are earmarked for emergency assistance to bankrupt railroads.

Commissioner Schuler assured Langdon of the state's full cooperation, assistance and support for the application, if it is determined to be a feasible method to obtain the funding.

In the interim period, state DOT forces are working with Penn Central on engineering evaluations to determine the extent of the damage and the cost of repairs.

The commissioner said ways are being explored to make repairs as rapidly as possible, using available steel girders and bridge parts rather than have new ones fabricated.

The state also is moving ahead with the measurement of the economic impact arising from the loss of the bridge, he said.

The commissioner told Langdon that 90 per cent of all Lehigh and Hudson River Railway traffic uses the bridge.

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