Less than four weeks after the deadly flash floods of Sunday, July 9, Route 9W-Popolopen Bridge was reopened thanks to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds and the combined efforts of state, county and local personnel, according to a press release from Rep. Pat Ryan’s office.
The Aug. 4 reopening of the bridge reconnected Route 9W to the Bear Mountain Circle, allowing access between West Point and the Bear Mountain Bridge to Westchester and Putnam counties, Palisades Parkway to Rockland County and Route 6 westbound.
In addition to Popolopen Bridge, other key roadways in the region have also reopened since the storm.
Access to Route 6 from Woodbury toward the Bear Mountain Bridge opened about 10 days after the storm as did the Palisades Interstate Parkway, allowing many commuters to Westchester and New York City to resume their normal routines.
In Woodbury, Seven Lakes Drive remains closed from Long Mountain Circle to Tiorati Circle as does Trout Brook Road.
Closer to the Hudson River, Route 218 from West Point to Cornwall also remains closed.
Bear Mountain State Park remains closed
Among the hardest hit areas was Bear Mountain State Park, which sustained damage when flood waters overwhelmed the water treatment plant that provides water to the park’s buildings and facilities. Without running water since the storm, water trucks have been supplying water to the animals at the Trailside Zoo.
“We are actively working to restore water in the park,” read a message posted on visitbearmountain.com on Aug. 8. “Please check back daily for reopening updates. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.”
According to an email update on the situation late last week from the Palisades Park Conservancy, other Bear Mountain State Park infrastructure took a hit as well.
The pool is closed for the remainder of the season and several buildings will need to be repaired or rebuilt altogether. Many hiking trails were washed out or seriously damaged, including large sections of the Appalachian Trail, Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail, 1777 Trail, Popolopen Creek trails and ‘Hell Hole’ bridge, Doodletown trails and the Cornell Mine Trail and bridge.
While Bear Mountain State Park sustained the worst damage, areas of Harriman State Park, Storm King Mountain State Park and Fort Montgomery State Historic Site were also affected.