Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said Wednesday December 21, 2022 that the Livingston Avenue Bridge Project has cleared a key federal environmental hurdle, allowing DOT to move into the final design phase of the project. The state hopes to start construction on the new $400 million Livingston Avenue Bridge by the end of 2023.
The current bridge, owned by CSX and leased to Amtrak, was built in 1902. Its pilings date to 1866. It has a pedestrian walkway that has been closed for decades due to neglect. Neglect also limits trains crossing the bridge to just 15 mph. The new bridge will support speeds up to 40 mph, according to the state. As far back as 2010 the DOT said, "Recent inspections indicate that the bridge structure is approaching the end of its serviceable life," according to a Times Union report.
The new design will also change from a movable swing bridge to a lift-type bridge. The changes will bring the structure in line with modern standards. The DOT is recommending the new structure be built just south of the existing bridge, carrying two railroad tracks. The shared-use path will connect with the Empire State Trail, the city's Skyway Park and a planned park on the Rensselaer side.