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Brockport lift bridge to close for construction in 2022

by Panagiotis Argitis - Editor-in-Chief
Tue, Oct 22nd 2019 09:00 pm
Village of Brockport Mayor Margaret Blackman talks with the traffic and safety representatives at an informal meeting regarding the Main Street bridge's upcoming closure.
Village of Brockport Mayor Margaret Blackman talks with the traffic and safety representatives at an informal meeting regarding the Main Street bridge's upcoming closure.

As part of a $15 million rehabilitation project, the Erie Canal lift bridges of Brockport’s and Albion’s villages will undergo year-long reconstructions during the summer of 2022 in a mission to maintain and preserve its infrastructures. 

Led by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), the project will affect Route 19 (Main Street) in Brockport along with Route 98 (North Main Street) in Albion. The lift bridges will be closed during the construction and a detour will regulate traffic flow for both Brockport and Albion.  

The Village of Brockport will utilize Redman Road and West Avenue while the Town of Albion’s Fancher Road and Ridge Road will be used to detour traffic.

In relation to the reconstruction plans, the bridges’ sidewalks will be closed to pedestrians and bicyclists for the duration of the project. While an official sidewalk detour is yet to be decided on, pedestrian and bicycle traffic is anticipated to utilize near-by bridges. 

In an effort to secure safety and minimize impacts to public travelling over the aging lift bridges, the changes to come will be necessary despite the sacrifices made by detours. 

“This is the most significant rehabilitation that these bridges are seeing in over three decades,” NYSDOT Spokesperson Jordan Guerrein said. “These lift bridges are historical components of the canal, so for us they’re not something we necessarily want to replace, but we need to in order for us to continue to have vehicles safely travel.” 

The proposed plan for the canal lift bridges stretches past Brockport and Albion, with construction already underway in Spencerport and Fairport for the same project.

Similar to the works of those neighboring towns, Brockport’s and Albion’s lift bridges will see installation of high-strength galvanized steel to replace the current floor system. In addition to the floor plan, upgrades will also be made to the mechanical and technical components of the lifting mechanisms. While the alignment of the bridges will not undergo a change, the railing and guide rail on the bridge approaches will be replaced and repainted. 

In an attempt to educate the affected communities of the future reconstruction who frequently use the bridges, NYSDOT and the Canal Corporation presented the rehabilitation plans to Brockport residents in an informal meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 16, at the Brockport Middle School auditorium. 

Due to the high usage of the bridge by residents, visitors and business owners, informing the public prior to construction is a positive for both them and the coordinators of the project.

“It’s important for us [NYSDOT] to communicate what we’re doing and for the people to know what we’re doing,” Regional Traffic Engineer for NYSDOT Paul Spitzer said. “Communicating will allow the community to plan ahead and to react to change before it happens.” 

While construction on the Brockport and Albion lift bridges won’t begin until 2022, the anticipated project schedule is set for the bridge upgrades to be completed in 2023. 

Under federal law, at the point of which a lift bridge’s mechanism fails, the bridge will need to be lifted indefinitely until construction. 

“If you’ve ever been by the Main Street bridge [in Brockport] and listen as cars go by… it’s not a pretty sound,” Village of Brockport Mayor Margaret Blackman said. “I am very glad that they [NYSDOT] started the plans early; we are all being very productive with this.” 

 As physical construction awaits the lift bridges of Brockport and Albion, the communities who will be using the new bridges in the near future will be able to safely travel through the historic markers.

Photo of the Week

Taken by Mathieu Starke, staff photographer

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