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Riverkeeper, Dutchess County Executive call for inspection of CSX rail bridge along the Hudson


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Riverkeeper is asking for an independent inspection of this railroad bridge on the CSX freight line on the western shoreline of the Hudson across from Poughkeepsie.

We contacted CSX, owner of the rail line, in 2020, after noting the condition of the bridge. As seen in these photos, the longitudinal steel beams supporting the rail line have sagged downward at the north end of the bridge (right side in photos) and wooden shoring has been installed.

The bridge, just south of Blue Point, between Highland and Milton, was temporarily reinforced last year. This spring we were surprised to see that the bridge was still jury rigged.

We also notified state and federal spill response officials, as well as the Hudson River Drinking Water Intermunicipal Council, known as the Hudson 7.

This rail line carries freight trains hauling a variety of solid and liquid cargoes, including 30,000-gallon chemical and petroleum tank cars. Some trains are a mile long.

A derailment and spill here could have extreme environmental and human consequences. The drinking water intakes for Poughkeepsie and Lloyd are less than 2.5 miles away.

Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro viewed the bridge last month during a patrol with Riverkeeper, and wrote a letter to the state Department of Transportation to ask for an independent engineering inspection.

Click here to read the county executive’s letter.

Riverkeeper greatly appreciates that County Executive Molinaro has spoken out on this issue.

Given the hazardous nature of some of the product being transported on this line, and the line’s proximity to the River and to the drinking water intakes used by Poughkeepsie and Lloyd, Riverkeeper believes it is essential that the bridge be immediately inspected by an independent, state appointed rail bridge engineer and repaired to 100 percent integrity as soon as possible.

If the engineering inspection finds that the bridge, in its current jury rigged condition, has less than its required load bearing capacity, the rail line should be restricted or closed.

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