Beacon Citizen Network (BCN): a place for neighbors to get the word out, be heard and stay informed in all matters concerning Beacon, NY.



The next time you go to drop off some junk at the transfer station, take a look at the pile of red, rusting arched iron bridge sections dumped against the fence. If you are new to Beacon, you most likely will have no idea what they are or where they came from. If you have been here for awhile, or if you grew up here, you'll recognize this pile of rusting iron to be the bowstring truss sections from the old Tioronda Bridge; a bridge that was and still is, I assume, on the National Register of Historic Places. A few years ago, the bridge decking and the truss sections were "expertly" removed. Former City Manager Joe Braun was adamant that the old bridge be replaced. His concern was trumpeted by the fire dept and police dept's deep concern that a new bridge had to be built for.... some reason.. I forget exactly why. Needless to say.. its been 5, 6, 7 years.. No new bridge and the old sections that the city "saved" will soon be a pile of iron dust. So much for Beacon's dedication to its past.

The bridge sections are most likely to far gone to ever be used as part of a new bridge... But maybe there is a place for them. With a little thought and not a lot of imagination, the Tioronda Bridge bow string truss sections could become a project for a Beacon artist and placed at the river front in the new park now being sculpted at Long Dock. There could be a contest to design a sculpture made from the truss pieces that would be placed at the new park.. SO, Here you go Beacon; last chance to save these historic bridge sections. It's the least we can do. If we can find the time, expertise, volunteers and donated material to build the new visitors center, shouldn't we be able to save whats left of part of our history?

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Comment by john fasulo on September 18, 2011 at 7:12am
SO...Lots of comments over the past year or two.. he Truss pieces from the bridge? Still at the transfer station and stil rusting away... I  hav a new idea. At this point, the   Tioronda brdge pieces could be easily ground into dust. You'd most likely get abot 200 lbs of iron dust. Can some artist, sculptor, panter come forward wht a proposal for  some type of memorial piece of art to the Tioronda Bow String Truss Bridge. If a sculpture, it should sit outside of city hall, a reminder to us all of our neglect with a sign that states,"This is what's left of the Tioronda Bow String Truss Bridge, still on the National register of Historic Places.
Comment by john fasulo on November 29, 2010 at 12:25pm
Ok.. lets get back to the issue.. we have four or six, I forget how many, Bow String Trusses that are still sinking into the muck...What do we do with them? Putting them "inside" some city garage isn't going to solve the issue...
I still think that an artist who works in metal with large pieces is the ticket here.. Turn them into "art"... They're found objects, large ones, but still, there must be someone out there in the art community that ahs a fresh idea..
Comment by Ben Royce on November 29, 2010 at 11:34am
i updated the wikipedia entry with a link to this discussion
Comment by Steve Knowles on November 29, 2010 at 11:13am
I guess I should have read the other comments first! Good to hear that some common sense is already drowning out the foolishness.
Comment by Steve Knowles on November 29, 2010 at 11:12am
The argument that police and fire services need a bridge in that location is just more corrupt politician speak. (I'll let you decide if the speech is corrupt, or the politicians corrupt) There is absolutely no legitimate reason to have a vehicle-worth bridge at that location; route 9D works just fine. A pedestrian/bicycle bridge at the location would make sense, and would be especially cool if linked to a trail that connects the Madam Brett park area to the riverfront trail (all that is necessary is a connection in the train track area). I believe there needs to be a moratorium passed that will prevent any bridge wider than 7 feet (or whatever width would prevent cars) from being built south of the 9D bridge over Fishkill Creek. You know the politicians will find a way to rake the taxpayers to have an un-necessary bridge built unless a city law is passed to prevent it.

The "emergency bridge" argument is such a crock because the total time for an ambulance, fire truck, or whatever to go from a station in Beacon to the neighborhood across from Madam Bretty park is likely longer than using 9d.
Comment by Ben Royce on November 28, 2010 at 7:32pm
thanks randall, good info
Comment by Randall Martin on November 27, 2010 at 10:57pm
This was discussed at length in city council meetings right before the trusses were taken down more like two years ago. Someone said that the trusses were already being used in a non-structural (ornamental) manner by some previous renovation of the bridge. Joe Braun was pushing for a new multii-lane DOT bridge (like Wolcott Ave) because it wouldn't cost Beacon anything. A lot of people spoke at the meetings against it. I think the final decision was not to do that. The plan was a one or two lane bridge that emergency vehicles could use, but small enough so it wouldn't be a major thoroughfare or shortcut to 9D. It would be more pedestrian oriented and the trusses would be put back on. We all know why it never happened. There isn't any money. I also think the trusses were being stored on the Leonard street property where the roundhouse renovation is going on and they probably recently moved them to the transfer station. I think they should store them properly and use them on the bridge, even if it isn't structural.
Comment by Ben Royce on November 27, 2010 at 4:20pm

there might be new angle: scenic hudson and the city are interested in a greenway along fishkill creek. any funding/ proposal for that could include a rebuilt tioronda brige: bike/ pedestrian only, no cars. it fits in nicely with the idea of hike/ bike recreation for the larger area: we're talking hikers and bikers feeding off the 9D/ breakneck ridge/ mt beacon wider recreational focal points

it's not implausible. a biker/ hiker bridge design, as you say, might not be able to use these original pieces, and it is a travesty that they are allowed to rot like that (at least move them INSIDE someone, hello???), but the design can be as faithful to the original bridge as possible. the ideas of cars and trucks on a newly built bridge should just fade away

and no i don't think the fire dept deserves any blame, sorry about that, i'm just reading the wikipedia entry a little too closely, it is written so briefly that i imagined implied tension in the wording:

The trusses themselves were preserved for possible ornamental use on a rebuilt bridge.[2] However, it is not known when such rebuilding would take place, and the city's police and fire departments would like a rebuilt bridge to be wider than the current abutments and decking, still in place, would allow for.[2]

btw, you should update that wikipedia entry above with your input here, with links to this article and your previous one. if you want me to do it, i'll update it for you, i was going to do that anyways, but then i thought your voice obviously would be better on the subject than mine

anyway, should all this come to pass, a rebuilt hiker/ biker bridge, at which point, i would say your artwork proposal reusing the existing pieces should exist... right there in madam brett park perhaps, alongside the new bridge

Comment by James Watkins on November 27, 2010 at 9:41am
I agree. A replica bridge is not the same when it comes to historic preservation. The neighbors in the Polo Fields don't want any bridge that would make more traffic of any kind in their neighborhood. Gotta respect locals. The Terminals development only cares about an enlarged underpass at the Metro North overpass. So repurpose the metal. It would be very cool for Beacon.
Comment by john fasulo on November 27, 2010 at 6:28am
Don't make the fire dept an enemy.. If the bridge had been saved at the time and a new one put up next to it, they would have been happy. The fire dept didn't "veto" anything. My understanding is that the chief and other fire officials saw what they believed to be a project that they saw as being needed. I personally tend to disagree, but don't hold the fire dept to blame. The "rush to judgement", so to speak lies with the city council at the time and the former City Administrator, Joe Braun. I suspect that the new bridge didn't get built because the funds and grants dried up; but that's just speculation on my part. Ask a city council person or the Mayor.
The facts are.. A bridge that was and still is technically on the National Register of Historic Places was removed and the new bridge that was so adamantly sought by the former administration, council and mayor was not built... whatever the reason.
The issue now is what to do with the remaining bow string truss pieces. that are rusting away at the transfer station. They are most likely too far gone to be used on a rebuilt historic bridge... So lets move on from there. Again.. what to do? I've seen enough metal art in my time to think that there MUST be someone, some arts organization, some groups or institution that MAY just have contact with an artist who does this type of art.
Any thoughts anyone?? Oh.. of course why didn't I think of it... DIA certainly has a roll-a-dex full of artists who work in metal.. Why not approach DIA you say? Excellent idea. Here is the chance for these discarded rusting pieces of iron to have a purpose; turned into a sculpture by a well known artist to be picked from a list of artists suggested by DIA's director. Once picked and the artists creation finished, it could be placed in the new park at the waterfront with a historical sign telling its history. any comments... I can't wait.

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