ROSCOE, NY (June 21, 2017)—Joined by community supporters, local officials and representatives of the Open Space Institute (OSI), Governor Andrew Cuomo celebrated the restoration and reopening of the historic Beaverkill Covered Bridge. Among the most iconic landmarks in the Catskills, the covered bridge was restored to improve vehicular and pedestrian safety, while keeping with structure’s historic nature.
The project earned early support by OSI which worked with local partners and state agencies in developing design documents for the bridge, as well as a long-term plan to improve the nearby picnic area popular with anglers, young families and visitors to the nearby Beaverkill Campground. The campground was protected by OSI in 2006 and is now managed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
"The Beaverkill Covered Bridge is a unique connection that carries travelers across the creek, allowing visitors to enjoy fishing, camping and other outdoor activities along the stream," Governor Cuomo said. "Restoring this treasure to its original charm will draw even more visitors who can experience the attractions and the natural beauty that Sullivan County has to offer."
"The restoration of the Beaverkill Covered Bridge preserves one of the Catskill’s most beloved historic landmarks and maintains the character of the river and the landscape that surrounds it,” said Erik Kulleseid, Open Space Institute Senior Vice President. “OSI is proud of our efforts to support this important project and grateful to our partners, the Friends of the Beaverkill Community. Thanks also to Governor Cuomo and the state Departments of Environmental Conservation and Transportation for their skilled and coordinated expertise in the success of this project."
As part of the $2.6 million restoration project, extensive repairs were made to the one-lane bridge, including full replacement of the timber decking, roofing and siding, and replacement of selected floor beams, roof rafters and support members as necessary. The abutment on the eastern side of the bridge was reconstructed to replicate the original stone approach ramp. The western abutment was resurfaced with stone from the eastern approach ramp in order to replicate the original stone wall appearance. In addition, a walkway underneath the bridge – located between the eastern pier and abutment – was widened. One of the bridge piers was repaired.
In addition to OSI, the New York State Department of Transportation worked closely with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, State Historic Preservation Office, and John H. Adams, co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council and chair of the Open Space Institute Board of Trustees, as well as with Friends of Beaverkill Community, Sullivan County and the town of Rockland in order to comprehensively address the bridge’s structural needs while restoring its historic character.
The Beaverkill Covered Bridge was built in 1865 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. New York State was once home to more than 250 covered bridges. Today, only 31 remain.