Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge Lit Up in Orange on Nov. 15 As Thruway Helps to Raise Awareness for Hunger Relief

TARRYTOWN, NY—With the Thanksgiving holiday season fast approaching, the New York State Thruway Authority lit up the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge in the color Orange to raise awareness for hunger relief and a reminder that hunger can affect anyone, and that everyone can help to reduce the growing hunger gap in communities where they live.

The celebrations kicked off with Westchester County Executive George Latimer at the County Office Building in White Plains acknowledging Hillside Food Outreach’s executive leadership for their role combatting food insecurity in the community. “I am proud to proclaim Nov. 15, as ‘Hillside Food Outreach Day’ in Westchester County. This small and mighty organization is responsible for consistently hand delivering nutritious groceries to over 1,775 individuals struggling with hunger and food insecurity, and they regularly go above and beyond to ensure the health and wellbeing of our community,” Mr. Latimer said.

According to a study recently released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the number of U.S. households facing food insecurity is sharply rising with more than 17 million American families struggling to put food on the table in 2022.

Why Orange? Orange, according to experts, stimulates the brain, which increases mental activity, a sense of energy and stirs up a sensation of hunger. So many healthy foods are orange in color—squash, carrots, oranges and pumpkins to name a few. Orange is a color that makes people feel refreshed and comfortable. Orange is a color that rejuvenates and is a color that is a pathway to satisfying hunger.

The Gov. Mario Cuomo Bridge was lit up in orange to raise awareness for hunger relief in mid-November. The initiative was organized by Hillside Food Outreach, a nonprofit that delivers nutritious groceries to low-income and limited mobility families, seniors and the chronically ill in New York and Connecticut.

“Access to healthy and nutritious food is a right that everyone deserves regardless of background, age, or income,” said Hillside Food Outreach CEO and Founder Kathy Purdy. “The devastating reality is more and more families, seniors, and the most vulnerable members of our communities are being forced to choose between eating healthy or paying for basic necessities. I accept this honor on behalf of our clients as well our dedicated network of selfless volunteers, and everyone who is helping to address food insecurity in their communities.”

“Ensuring our most vulnerable neighbors have access to healthy, nutritious foods is essential to the overall wellbeing of the community,” said Michael Gilfeather, President and CEO of Orange Bank & Trust, a sponsor of a bridge viewing reception held at The Sailhouse in Tarrytown.

“We have a longstanding track record of maximizing investments to community-serving nonprofits, and as the color orange signifies hunger relief, we naturally wanted to play a role in supporting this cause.

Barosa Named Commissioner of Planning, Development, Public Transportation in Putnam

CARMEL, NY—Putnam County Executive Kevin Byrne recently announced the appointment of Barbara Barosa as the new Commissioner of the Department of Planning, Development, and Public Transportation. The appointment comes as a result of an extensive search to find the ideal candidate to lead this critical department.

Putnam County Executive Byrne expressed his confidence in Ms. Barosa’s capabilities, stating, “Barbara Barosa’s extensive experience and proven track record in the field of planning and development make her the ideal choice to lead the Department of Planning, Development, and Public Transportation. I have every confidence that she will continue to drive our community’s growth and ensure responsible development in Putnam County.”

Ms. Barosa has been a dedicated member of the Putnam County Planning, Development, and Public Transportation Department since 2013, where she began as a Senior Planner and eventually was promoted to the role of Principal Planner. Her career in public service includes prior roles as Director of Planning for the Town of Somers, and work as a Planner with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP).

“I am deeply honored to take on the role of commissioner for our Planning Department,” said Ms. Barosa. “I am committed to continue working tirelessly to foster responsible development and sustainable transportation solutions in Putnam County. I look forward to collaborating with our local communities and dedicated staff to build a vibrant, prosperous future for our region.”

Barbara Barosa

Ms. Barosa was appointed by County Executive Byrne after a competitive interview process was conducted by a selection committee that included Legislator Toni Addonizio, Legislator Greg Ellner, Deputy County Executive Jim Burpoe, Director of Personnel Paul Eldridge, Deputy Director of Personnel Adrienne Iasoni, and Director of Purchasing John Tully.

Among her more notable accomplishments has been her instrumental role in assisting the Village of Brewster in their revitalization efforts. Ms. Barosa steps into her new position, taking the reins from John Tully, who has been serving in a dual capacity, managing both the Purchasing Department and the Planning Department while the Byrne administration identified the right candidate for the role.

Meisner Joins LeChase As Project Manager

ARMONK, NY—LeChase Construction Services, LLC, reported recently that Gregory Meisner has joined the firm as a project manager based in the New York Metro region.

In this role, Mr. Meisner will manage, develop, maintain and oversee all functions of assigned projects at the preconstruction, construction and post-construction phases. Those functions include, but are not limited to, safety, construction planning and cost-control procedures.

Mr. Meisner has six years of construction experience in and around the Manhattan area working on large-scale, commercial projects. He earned a B.S. in civil engineering with a minor in environmental engineering from The Pennsylvania State University and has completed the OSHA 30 and NYC Department of Buildings Site Safety trainings. Mr. Meisner currently resides in Hartsdale, NY.

Frank Hoare

NJTA Releases Environmental Impact Statement For Nearly $11B Hudson County Extension Job

NEWARK, NJ—The replacement of the Newark Bay-Hudson County Extension between Interchanges 14 and 14A will eliminate congestion and provide important mobility, safety, and access benefits to overburdened communities in Newark, Bayonne, and Jersey City, according to the findings of a draft Environmental Impact Statement released recently by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.

“Ensuring that all of our roadways are safe, sustainable, and resilient for drivers and communities is our top priority. The findings of the draft EIS reflect this commitment. These findings, for the program’s highest priority project, are the result of eight coordination meetings with NJDEP and more than two years of analysis and investigations conducted by a team of environmental experts,” stated James Carone, Executive Director at the New Jersey Turnpike Authority. “In keeping with our goal of promoting equity in infrastructure, we are proud to share the results of the draft EIS.”

Constructed in 1956, the Newark Bay-Hudson County Extension is 8.1 miles of critical transportation infrastructure from Interchange 14 in Newark to the Jersey Avenue intersection in Jersey City. The Extension consists of 29 bridges that are at the end of their life and must be replaced. This Newark Bay-Hudson County Extension Improvements Program will rebuild the aging bridges and roadway to ensure safety and address the anticipated impacts of climate change.

Published reports put the overall project cost estimate at $10.7 billion.

“This program is consistent with efforts around the country to rebuild our aging infrastructure. Our nation has witnessed the tragedies that can occur when we don’t invest in our infrastructure. The rebuilding of the extension from Interchanges 14 to 14A along with the entire program is an investment in our safety, climate resilience, and economy. It is important to note that no city, county, state, or federal tax dollars are being used to fund the program,” said Michael Garofalo, Chief Engineer at the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.

The EIS focused on the program’s highest priority project, Interchange 14 in Newark to Interchange 14A in Bayonne and Jersey City. This project comprises 4.1 miles of the 8.1-mile extension and includes the replacement of the Vincent Robert Casciano Bridge over Newark Bay. A primary focus of the EIS is environmental justice. Given that the extension is within or near areas defined by NJDEP as meeting one or more Overburdened Community thresholds, the EIS analysis included impacts on public health, community cohesion, and access to parks and community facilities.

The draft EIS is the first critical milestone in the ongoing multi-step environmental review process. Because the Newark Bay Bridge crosses Newark Bay, a federal navigation channel, the reconstruction from Interchange 14 to Interchange 14A is also subject to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and related federal approvals. In compliance with NEPA, NJTA has prepared and submitted a draft Environmental Assessment to the U.S. Coast Guard for approval. USCG will release the final draft of the Environmental Assessment for public comment. As part of the environmental process, NJTA will be applying for NJDEP permits in the coming weeks to address impacts during and after construction. Once the permit applications are submitted, the public will have the opportunity to review the application package and provide comment. Additionally, property owners within 200 feet of the permit limits will be notified in writing.

Construction on Interchange 14 in Newark to Interchange 14A in Bayonne and Jersey City will begin in 2026. The reconstruction of the remainder of the Extension to Jersey Avenue in Jersey City will take place in the next decade. There will be additional EISs for the remaining reconstruction once the detailed engineering and corresponding environmental analysis are conducted, NJTA noted. 

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