The Suffolk County Legislature has finally approved the $73 million funding that is required for the Smith Point Bridge, the bridge connects Smith Point County Beach and the eastern portion of the Fire Island National Seashore to Long Islands William Floyd Parkway.
The bridge carries an estimated 1 million visitors a year, making it one of the counties most visited parks according to the legislatures budget office
Out of the budget $14.25 million will be funded by the county over 3 years, while $57 million will come from the federal government.
The new bridge was announced back in 2016 by Representative Kate Browning.
Rep Browning has stated that the pilings of the old bridge have deteriorated, and that the county can not locate parts for the draw bridge anymore.
“Legis. Kate Browning (WFP-Shirley) said boaters in the community have complained for years about “the ridiculous amount of time“ it takes to get through the drawbridge. It’s old, it needs to be replaced,” Browning said. “It’s not a want, it’s a need.”
The new bridge will replace the existing draw bridge which has stood in its place since 1959. During construction the draw bridge will remain operational. Officials have stated when the new bridge is completed they will raze the old one with controlled demolitions.
Updated article as of 1:51pm to add more information