Rehabilitation of Erie Canal bridges set to start

The US state of New York is set to start a two-year project to rehabilitate seven historic bridges along the Erie Canal.

The project involves seven single-lane truss bridges constructed between 1909 and 1914 in the Orleans County towns of Murray, Albion, Gaines, Ridgeway and the village of Medina. The rehabilitation work is necessary to raise legal weight limits on the bridges.

Each bridge is set to close for up to six months during the course of the US$10.7 million project, which is expected to be completed in 2020.

The work on the bridges will include installing high-strength galvanised steel to replace steel floor systems, low chords, gusset plates, and truss elements. Bridge railings and guide rails on the bridge approaches also will be improved and each bridge will be repainted. The alignments and profiles of the bridges will not change.

“All New Yorkers know the importance and history of commerce along the Erie Canal, especially in the Rochester-Finger Lakes region, which is home to nearly 70 percent of the canal bridges in the state,” said New York State Department of Transportation acting commissioner Paul Karas. “By investing in this critical infrastructure today, we are helping to preserve that history and maintain the integrity of these bridges for years to come.”

The bridge carrying Bennetts Corners Road over the Erie Canal will be the first of the seven to close, with work beginning next week. Each bridge will be worked on consecutively through to summer 2020.