The bridge over Pussy’s Pond in Springs, a project that has been years in the making, is essentially complete—an accomplishment that will be officially celebrated this Sunday, January 27.
The public is invited to attend the free event, which will start out at the School Street side of the bridge in Springs at noon. The festivities will then move indoors to nearby Ashawagh Hall, where food and beverages will be served, according to Zachary Cohen, a Springs resident and chairman of East Hampton Town’s Nature Preserve Committee.
Mr. Cohen and Dr. Ray Hartjen, a lifelong boat builder and member of the East Hampton Trails Preservation Society, have spearheaded the project. They plan to dedicate the bridge to the children of Springs.
“To me, the savior of this community and the hope of the future is the volunteerism of the people,” said Mr. Cohen on Monday. “We aren’t just a resort community, because the people who live here help each other. And the future of that is the children seeing it and them developing the same values. And what I see it as is a passing off of those values to the children, who will then accept them and grow into doing these kinds of community projects for the next generation.”
The project is being funded entirely by donations, Mr. Cohen said. It’s expected to cost $18,500. The lumber used to rebuild the bridge is from the East End and has been harvested from locations in North Haven, Southampton and Shelter Island, Mr. Cohen said.
“The reconstructed bridge replaces a bridge that was removed several years ago and fulfills a desire of the students of the nearby Springs School to once again have a footbridge to use and enjoy,” said Dr. Hartjen in an email last Friday.
Weather permitting, attendees will gather at the bridge for about 15 minutes or so to officially dedicate the structure to the youth of Springs, Mr. Cohen said. It’s expected to be a cold afternoon. Springs School Superintendent Dominic Mucci said at a School Board meeting earlier this month that he would like to see the cast of “Cat Tales,” this year’s fourth grade school opera inspired by Pussy’s Pond, perform at the bridge dedication.
The original bridge was first built sometime in the early 1990s, Mr. Cohen said. That bridge was created by the East Hampton chapter of the Waterfowl U.S.A. The bridge was torn down several years ago after being deemed unsafe. In 2009, the Nature Preserve Committee decided to rebuild the bridge and got Springs School students involved in a competition to create designs.
It’s fitting to dedicate the Pussy’s Pond bridge to the youth, Mr. Cohen said. “The kids, they were one of the original reason the project started,” he said.