Century-old Meadowmere Park Bridge faces possible replacement

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MEADOWMERE -

The 100-year-old Meadowmere Park Bridge could soon be replaced with a larger, less aesthetically pleasing concrete span -- and neighbors don't want that to happen.

Meadowmere, a community of just 86 homes in southwestern Nassau County near the border of Queens, has only one road in and out for drivers. 

Resident Diane Kirchner says the Town of Hempstead wants to use Superstorm Sandy recovery money from New York Rising to install a bridge capable of transporting emergency vehicles. The current bridge is a wooden bridge for walking.

But there's no need to do that, she says, because there's another bridge already in place that emergency vehicles can use.

"This is part of our community," she says. "It's part of the charm."

Other residents say a second way in and out would improve safety.

"I think we need another egress off of the island if anything happens," says Lynn Rollo, another resident. 

In order for the community to use Sandy recovery money to pay for it, the new bridge would have to be a structure that allows emergency vehicles to cross. So it could not remain a foot bridge.

In a statement, the town said the fate of the bridge is up to Meadowmere's residents. But, the town noted, a decision against modernizing the bridge would cost the community state funding.

Residents say that doesn't matter since the town is responsible for the bridge's maintenance.

"I say give back the money, rather than have something that is going to change the dynamic of our community forever," Kirchner says.

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