Replacement of 121-Year-Old Bridge Completed On Time and On Budget in Less Than 16 Months
Acting MTA Chairman and CEO Janno Lieber and Metro-North Railroad President Catherine Rinaldi today opened of the newly rebuilt Third Avenue Bridge in downtown Mt. Vernon, on time and on budget. The bridge is the fourth that the MTA has opened in downtown Mt. Vernon in three years and the second in just three months. Today’s announcement effectively completes – in less than 16 months – the replacement of the previous 121-year-old bridge that was demolished beginning in April 2020.
“This bridge reconstruction, completed in less than 16 months, shows the MTA’s determination to stay right on schedule when we make commitments to local communities,” said Janno Lieber, Acting MTA Chairman and CEO. “And there are many more projects to benefit Metro-North riders in the works, now that our $51.5 Billion 2020-24 Capital Program has been un-paused and is picking up steam.”
“The completion of two bridge replacements in under three months shows Metro-North's commitment to serving the City of Mount Vernon beyond providing reliable train service,” said Catherine Rinaldi, President of Metro-North Railroad. “This bridge will provide an easy connection to the downtown area of Mount Vernon for years to come.”
“Residents and businesses in Mount Vernon will greatly benefit from the MTA and Metro-North's work to reopen the Third Avenue Bridge,” said MTA Board Member and Chair of the Metro-North Committee, Rhonda Herman. “I want to congratulate the hardworking crews who worked on this project for finishing on time and on budget.”
"When we invest in our infrastructure at the federal, state, and city level, we’re investing in not just people’s safety and security, but in the vitality and economic opportunity of our cities," said U.S. Rep. Jamaal Bowman. “The reopening of the new Third Avenue Bridge is an exciting example of what can be done when the city, MTA, and federal partners work together to connect our communities to much-needed resources and opportunity."
“This bridge is the same bridge a young kid from the South Side of Mount Vernon named George walked across almost every day,” said Westchester County Executive George Latimer. “Thanks to this project undertaken by the MTA, more kids with bright futures ahead of them will see just what government can accomplish that has an impact on the daily lives of the people it serves. This bridge will remain a gateway to Mount Vernon’s historic downtown as the City and the County aim to revitalize this jewel.”
“I am excited that for the first time in a long time our residents can walk and drive over the Third Avenue Bridge,” said Mount Vernon Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard. “I want to thank the MTA and union workers who finished this project during a pandemic. The access to our Third Avenue corridor will only serve as a boon to our downtown economic development and ease traffic congestion. With the completion of this bridge, all of our bridges are officially open for the first time in more than a decade. I look forward to sitting down with MTA and our government partners to discuss the reconstruction of our oldest bridges at Fulton Avenue and South Street.”
“I’m thrilled to celebrate the successful completion and reopening of the Third Avenue Bridge,” said State Senator Jamaal Bailey. “This long-awaited modernization and reconstruction project marks an important milestone in the work of reimagining safe and resilient transportation systems that will serve our communities into the future. Once a relic of the crumbling infrastructure of the past, the Third Avenue Bridge will now provide a safe passageway for commuters for decades to come and give an even greater boost to the economy and quality of life of the city of Mount Vernon. I want to thank MTA Metro-North Railroad and my colleagues for their vision and commitment to the success of this project.”
“I am pleased to see the completion of the Third Avenue Bridge because it makes accessibility to the city streets more convenient for drivers and pedestrians,” said Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow. “These projects are necessary to improve our city and will benefit our residents for generations to come.”
"Completion of the Third Avenue Overhead Bridge is good news for Mount Vernon. While it doesn’t carry trains, it allows pedestrians and vehicles to once again safely pass over Metro-North tracks and connect to Mt. Vernon’s downtown – important as our region’s economy continues to rebound,” said Randy Glucksman, chair of the Metro-North Railroad Commuter Council and MTA Board Member. “The MTA made a commitment to the city and its residents, to Metro-North riders and everyone who crosses the tracks to get the bridge rebuilt and open as expeditiously as possible, and with their federal funding partners they did a beautiful job that will make a difference in the lives of the people who live and work here."
"Maintaining our infrastructure above and below ground is good for communities and commuters,” said Lisa Daglian, Executive Director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA (PCAC). “The completion of the Third Avenue Bridge in Mount Vernon is another example of the importance the MTA puts on working in partnership to get important projects done."
Demolition of the original bridge was announced in April 2020 with expected completion of July 2021. The project was funded by the 2015-2019 Capital Plan and approved by the MTA board in Dec. 2019. Project components include:
The MTA issued a design-build contract to expedite the project. Design-build contracts call for a single contractor to be responsible for both designing and building an entire project in order to ensure that coordination is seamless, and that work is completed in the shortest possible time.
MTA Arts and Design worked with artist Damien Davis to create artwork for the Third Avenue Bridge. Empirical Evidence references ancient and contemporary cultures through non-linear abstracted and stylized symbols that -- like an urban landscape -- constitute a whole, made up of distinctive parts. Davis’ artwork goes across 11 panels along the bridge’s east façade. The artwork with interwoven shapes and symbols forms a visual lexicon that not only connect with the culture and the greater diaspora the city represents, but also acts as a bridge for dialogue and inclusiveness.
"We are thrilled to be collaborating with the City of Mount Vernon on this art initiative,” said Sandra Bloodworth, Director of MTA Arts & Design. It is truly a unique opportunity that allows Arts & Design to bring first-class artwork to the bridges traversing downtown Mount Vernon. Public art can help to shape the place, speak for its people, and transform a cityscape. The artwork on the Third Avenue Bridge did all of that. We look forward to completing the remaining bridges and the formation of an Art Walk for the city.”
“Ultimately, the work is about language and how powerful language can be, for both clarity and confusion. I want all the work I make to serve as a bridge—I think about language as a bridge, and symbols as language,” Davis said. “For me, the question becomes how we take these larger complicated ideas, that can be hard to explain, break them down into simple shapes, and then allow new dynamic, complicated conversations to form around them. That is my hope for this project.”
The Third Avenue Bridge is the latest of four bridges that span Metro North’s New Haven line in downtown Mount Vernon that the MTA has replaced in four years. The 14th Avenue Bridge re-opened on July 3, 2019, the 6th Avenue Bridge re-opened on Sept. 12, 2020, and the 10th Avenue Bridge re-opened on June 2, 2021. The MTA replaced the Park Avenue / 1st Avenue Bridge in 2011.
Metro-North will seek design-build proposals for the replacement of the South Street and Fulton Avenue bridges.
MTA Announces Completion of Third Avenue Bridge Renewal Project in Mt. Vernon – Fourth Bridge Opened by MTA in Mt. Vernon in Three Years
Updated August 10, 2021 3:45 p.m.