The New York State Department of Transportation is now designing a new bridge to replace the one that spans the Long Island Rail Road track at the western end of Cranberry Hole Road in Amagansett, which has been closed to all vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists since July 1.
Last week, trucks belonging to Aquifer Drilling and Testing of Mineola were at the site and workers were conducting testing and inspection at the bridge, which was constructed in 1895 and was determined by the L.I.R.R. last year to be beyond repair and in need of replacement.
Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. confirmed last week that the D.O.T. has engaged a contractor to design a new bridge. That decision followed a virtual meeting in September with then-East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc and Councilman David Lys as well as L.I.R.R. engineering, management, and administrative officials. The L.I.R.R. officials then issued a request for proposals for engineering and design for a new bridge.
“We’re expecting the town should see a draft design probably in March sometime,” Mr. Thiele said, “and then there should be a final design by June.” The project would then be put out to bid.
The date of completion of a new bridge remains well into the future, however. In September, Mr. Van Scoyoc, who did not seek re-election, called for the public’s patience, describing the effort as “a major project, and there are a number of different entities that will have to be involved in order to actually make it happen.”
Mr. Thiele said last week that “construction is probably a year by itself.”
The July 1 closure of the bridge was the second in as many months. Town officials had closed it on May 7 after a sizable hole had opened in it, among other gaps in the road’s surface. After its initial closure, Highway Department officials began repairs at the end of May and the bridge was reopened on June 10, remaining open for less than three weeks before its second closure. The bridge had last seen major repairs in 2007.
Motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians have been advised to use Abram’s Landing Road or Napeague Meadow Road to access Cranberry Hole Road and Lazy Point.