In order to fix the broken Hudson River bridge, Albany needs to get its act together. In September, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer requested that Amtrak consider revitalizing the Livingston Avenue railroad bridge. The century-old structure crosses the Hudson River, connecting Albany with Rensselaer and the South End. In addition to traffic, the Livingston Avenue bridge obstructs pedestrian access and cuts off the South End from downtown.
The state should put its money into improving Albany’s bridge, which is a major cause of traffic congestion. It’s the first step toward fixing the city’s infrastructure. Ultimately, the project could be one of Cuomo’s legacy projects. In 2010, Cuomo said he had discussed the issue with Vice President Biden, but he never discussed it with him. He referred to a statement he made three months ago.
The MTA should strive for an early completion date, despite the fact that there are significant hurdles ahead. This is especially important because the bridge’s toll collection has already started. The MTA hasn’t decided when the tolls will start being collected, but advocates say the time is now for the bridge rehab. However, the process will require extensive planning and engineering work. By that, the bridge will be safer for commuters and will benefit the entire region.
In order to make it safer for travelers, officials should consider relocating the railroad. This would require coordination between multiple rail companies and significant financial resources. Moving the railroad would be the next best option if that failed. That isn’t always possible, but advocates say the time is now to fix the bridge.
As time passes, Albany has not been spared from the need for more improvements. The federal government has provided funding for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which built a second track between Albany and Schenectady and a new train station at the Albany-Rensselaer station. But while the money helped, the bridge has not been fully rehabilitated. This may be because the federal government’s budgets aren’t enough to meet the city’s needs.
Although many of the improvements have been made to Amtrak’s Northeast corridor in recent years, advocates say the time is now for Albany bridge rehab. In addition, the project should be finished as quickly as possible in order to limit the likelihood of a casualty. It should also have enough funding for a full reconstruction of the Livingston Avenue Bridge. The state has a long history of deteriorating the city’s infrastructure.