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NEW YORK STATE BRIDGE AUTHORITY

June 25, 2010

SCHUMER, NYSBA
ANNOUNCE CRITICAL COUNTERTERRORISM UPGRADES FOR 5 HUDSON VALLEY BRIDGES - SCHUMER HELPED SECURE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS

Funding Will Pay for Hi-Tech Cameras and Other Comprehensive Security Upgrades
Schumer, Working with New York State Bridge Authority, Successfully Fought for the Funding from Federal Department of Homeland Security
Schumer and NYSBA Will Discuss Upgraded Technology and Equipment

     U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer and New York State Bridge Authority (NYSBA) Executive Director Joseph Ruggiero today announces major counterterrorism upgrades at five Hudson Valley bridges. The upgrades will be completed using funding Schumer helped secure from the Department of Homeland Security and will provide high-tech cameras and other security technology for the bridges. The five bridges that will received upgrades are the Bear Mountain Bridge; Newburgh-Beacon "Hamilton Fish" Bridge; Mid-Hudson "Franklin D. Roosevelt" Bridge; Kingston-Rhinecliff "George Clinton" Bridge and; Rip Van Winkle Bridge. The Bear Mountain Bridge, where the event was held, is located in a critical part of the Hudson River between Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant and USMA at West Point.

     The NYSBA has been awarded $3.45 million grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)' Post Security Grant Program The grant was made in conjunction with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey with the agreement that the NYS Bridge Authority will contribute $1.15 million to the project cost. In total, $4.6 million worth of investment will be made to bridges across the Hudson Valley to implement new high tech security measures and make long overdue improvements to existing security equipment. Senator Schumer worked to secure the funding from the Department of Homeland Security as part of his ongoing effort to bolster New York's security on our ports and bridges as new threats arise.

     "The best way to prevent terrorist attacks in sensitive areas across our country is to make sure we have adequate defenses - as they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," said Schumer. "This funding will go a long way towards protecting our bridges, the most vulnerable pieces of infrastructure. And at the Bear Mountain Bridge, between a nuclear power plant and West Point, we need to be particularly vigilant. I would also like to acknowledge the significant investment that the NYSBA has made in this project- I applaud Joseph Ruggiero for his vision and look forward to working with him in the future."

Schumer and Ruggiero

The following bridges will receive funding from the grant at the specified levels:

  • Bear Mountain Bridge on State Routes 6/202 will receive $1.2 million
  • Newburgh-Beacon "Hamilton Fish" Bridge on Interstate 84 will receive 100,000
  • Mid-Hudson "Franklin D. Roosevelt" Bridge on State Routes 44/55 will receive $100,000
  • Kingston-Rhinecliff "George Clinton" Bridge on State Route 199 will receive $2 million
  • Rip Van Winkle Bridge on State Route 23 will receive 1.2 million
  •      The money for the Newburgh and Mid-Hudson bridges, which largely have security systems in place, will be to install high tech river monitoring cameras. The funding for the other three bridges, which currently have little in the way of high-tech security, will be for brand new security systems. These systems include multiple cameras, fiber optic infrastructure, monitors and controllers, among other things.

    The systems will use a combination of standard cameras and new technologies, including infrared sensors to detect boats, automobiles, and air traffic. Funding security initiatives such as these is a recognition of the new threats the country faces.

         Today's funding marks a major recognition by DHS that suburban communities just outside of big cities are becoming increasing targets for terrorists. For instance, the attempted Times Square bomber, Faisal Shahzad, made his home in a suburban Connecticut community while he planned his attack on New York City. Of course, no one can be sure exactly what measures could have prevented the attempted Times Square attack, but without question increased security measures on our bridges and ports can serve as a deterrent and will go a long way towards making sure that local law enforcement officials have more resources in their efforts to keep their communities safe.

         The Port Security Grant Program is run by the Department of Homeland Security and provides funding to port areas for enhancing maritime domain awareness, enhancing risk management capabilities to prevent, detect, respond to and recover from attacks involving improvised explosive devices (IEDs), Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosive (CBRNE), and other non-conventional weapons, as well as training and exercises for port and bridge security officers.