The Village of Canajoharie was awarded $2.837 million by the state on Thursday to replace the Incinerator Road Bridge over Canajoharie Creek, a span that has been closed for more than three years after being condemned by the state, according to Village Mayor Jeff Baker.
The funding was part of the New York State Department of Transportation’s 2021 Bridge NY project awards. The Village of Canajoharie was the only Montgomery County municipality to receive such an award, which sent more than $216 million to 88 local governments to rehabilitate and replace bridges and culverts in every region of the state.
Baker said replacing the bridge will give the village better access to its own wastewater treatment plant without having to cross the former Beech-Nut property, which is now the prospective site of the E29 Labs cannabis production company. Baker said permanently accessing the facility via the E29 Labs property would have been expensive and cumbersome.
“They have to build fences and security systems for their operation, and so we would have to build additional roads that would be a costly venture,” Baker said. “This now eliminates any of that. E29 Labs can own that property without any such infrastructure issues.”
Montgomery County entered into a purchase-and-sale agreement with E29 Labs in April, following passage of the state’s Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA).
Albany-based firms Colliers Engineering & Design and Delaware Engineering helped the village submit the grant application for the bridge replacement, according to the mayor.
Overall, the Bridge NY program is funding 109 projects across the state.
“The Bridge NY program provides essential funding to enhance the safety, resiliency and reliability of critical municipally-owned infrastructure,” Governor Kathy Hochul said in a press release. “We must continue to make these strategic investments in our local communities to protect our residents from the increased frequency of extreme weather events, as well as to provide New Yorkers with the modernized and streamlined infrastructure they deserve.”
Baker said he expects the planning phase of the Incinerator Road Bridge to begin in the summer of 2022, with construction starting early 2023.
For now, he’s just happy the funding has come through after starting the grant application process about 18 months ago.
“It’s an early Christmas present,” Baker said.
Andrew Waite can be reached at [email protected] and at 518-417-9338. Follow him on Twitter @UpstateWaite.