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Bridge Scour Program

Robert Moses Causeway over Fire Island Inlet, part of the Bridge Scour program


Through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), 105 flood-prone bridges have advanced to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for further action. The $518 million bridge scour program aims to both rehabilitate existing scour damage due to fast-flowing water, as well as shore up bridge foundations to mitigate future scour potential. Bridge scour, one of the three main causes of bridge failure, is the result of the erosive action of fast flowing water which erodes and carries away foundation materials. By ensuring the safety of the bridges, the program aims to protect and strengthen essential transportation routes throughout New York, thereby ensuring access during cases of extreme weather or other potential emergencies.


Photo of scour damage to Meadowbrook Parkway bridge

Scour damage at Meadowbrook Parkway bridge foundation


“These bridges serve as vital lifelines for New Yorkers, especially during times of severe weather events which unfortunately has become the new reality in this State,” said Former Governor Cuomo. “This essential program will enable us to strengthen these bridges while extending their service life for New Yorkers who rely on them."


In June 2013, the Governor announced a call for projects to be funded by the HMGP program to assist local governments and non-profit organizations to rebuild more robust and more sustainable communities. Authorized by FEMA, the program aims to increase the resiliency, reduce hardship and mitigate the risks of loss and damage associated with future disasters. The bridge scour program is the result of comprehensive collaborations between the State’s Department of Transportation (DOT), Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services (DHSES), the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR) and dozens of local governments– illustrating New York’s innovative and pioneering approach to flood recovery and mitigation activities.


The undertaking also corresponds to the State’s overall efforts to rethink and reimagine, following the impact of Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. Through its portfolio of NY Rising programs, GOSR assists storm-affected homeowners, small businesses and entire communities to build back stronger and better than before.


“Upgrading these bridges is not an expense; it is a vital investment in New York’s future,” said State Director of Storm Recovery, Jamie Rubin. “Our forward-looking approach will enable them to better withstand the effects of nature which can be severe in these parts of the State.”
The 105 bridges included in the initiative were identified by the State DOT as being the most at-risk from repeated instances of flooding. They are located in the Capital District, Long Island, Mid-Hudson, Mohawk Valley, North Country, Finger Lakes, Central/ Western and Southern Tier regions. Completion of the program would afford the residents of 78 communities within 30 New York counties continued access to these important lifesaving services.


Read the press release here.