TOWN OF HIGHLANDS – Last Friday, less than four weeks after a devastating flood struck the Hudson Valley, Congressman Ryan announced the reopening of the Popolopen Bridge, a key access point connecting Route 9W and the surrounding counties. The closure, which originally was expected to take months to fix, had caused significant traffic disruption and slowed economic activity. Using funds from the federal government’s Major Disaster Declaration, the bridge was rapidly repaired by a combined state, county and local effort.
“The storm’s catastrophic damage to this bridge has resulted in significant traffic disruption, negative impacts to local small businesses, and made it harder for our first responders to do their jobs safely and efficiently. Thanks to the close coordination between federal, state and local government, and in particular the heroic 24/7 work of crews on the scene, I’m proud to announce Popolopen Bridge is back up and running ahead of schedule,” said Congressman Pat Ryan. “We must continue to bring that same urgency and focus to cleaning up the damage to homes, small businesses and infrastructure across the region. I will keep pushing for everyone impacted to get the relief they need and deserve.”
“The Popolopen Bridge is a vital roadway in Orange County, and I am glad that it has re-opened less than a month after the devastating storm damaged it,” said Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus. It is another important step as we recover from the storm and will benefit residents in the southeastern portion of the County and visitors alike. I want to thank the State Department of Transportation for its diligent work in repairing the bridge.”
“Mother Nature wreaked havoc on New Yorkers earlier this month, but we are one step closer to recovering from the devastating rains and flooding that hit the Hudson Valley region,” said Governor Hochul. “Today, we are reopening the Popolopen Bridge, which will make travel easier between West Point and destinations to the south in record time and long before tens of thousands of travelers arrive to see our Army Black Knights begin their season.”
Earlier in the week, Ryan hosted a mobile flood assistance session alongside RUPCO, RECAP, Senator Skoufis’ office, Assemblymember Eachus’ office, Orange County Office for the Aging, the Mental Health Association of Orange County, and the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan, helping over 100 residents in need. This next step in flood recovery builds on weeks of advocacy for the community, including multiple visits to impacted cities, working with partners across all levels of government to secure additional resources, and volunteering at the Red Cross shelter in Highland Falls.
On July 14th, Ryan joined Congressman Lawler in a bipartisan call for a Major Disaster Declaration, which was approved by President Biden on July 22nd.