For Immediate Release: 07/08/19
Steven Gosset | Steven.Gosset@nypa.gov
Media Relations | (914) 390-8192
STATE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND CANAL CORPORATION ANNOUNCE START OF $16.3 MILLION REHABILITATION OF TWO HISTORIC ERIE CANAL LIFT BRIDGES IN MONROE COUNTY
Route 259 Lift Bridge in Spencerport to Close to Traffic July 9
Route 250 Bridge in Fairport Closes in September
Seasonal Canal Boat Traffic Will Not Be Interrupted
Investment Complements “Finger Lakes Forward” – The Region’s Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy
New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez and State Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton today announced that construction is beginning on a $16.3 million project that will rehabilitate two of the region’s most iconic Erie Canal lift bridges, the Union Street bridge in Spencerport and the Main Street bridge in Fairport, both in Monroe County. Canal boat traffic will not be impacted by the work, which will maintain and help preserve the historic bridges, both built in 1914.
“Governor Cuomo is making smart infrastructure investments across New York State and rehabilitating these two historical lift bridges will keep them safe and active for decades to come,” Commissioner Dominguez said. “This region has the most canal lift bridges in the state and by investing in them we are protecting the vitality of downtown communities and helping to move the Finger Lakes Forward.”
New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian Stratton said, “We are pleased to work with the DOT to preserve the rich history of the Erie Canal while improving safety for drivers, pedestrians, and boaters. I thank Governor Cuomo for his leadership in repairing these two century-old bridges that are well-travelled by locals, whether commuting to work or taking advantage of all the canals have to offer.”
The project cost is being shared by the two state agencies. Canal Corporation is responsible for maintaining and operating the lifting components of the canal bridges, while NYSDOT owns and maintains the bridges and state highways.
The bridges being repaired are on main thoroughfares in the hearts of their communities, providing critical links to local businesses and residences. The repairs will allow all legal vehicle loads to travel over the bridges.
The repairs will include the installation of high-strength galvanized steel to replace the flooring systems, updates to the lifting mechanisms and control towers, and improvements to the bridge railings and guide rail on the bridge approaches. The alignments and profiles of the bridges will not change, however the southern approach to the Route 259 lift bridge will be re-aligned to improve sight distance for vehicular traffic.
Access to businesses and sidewalks near the bridges will be maintained throughout the project’s duration. Sidewalks along the bridges will be closed to pedestrians.
Congressman Joseph D. Morelle said, “The Erie Canal is a treasure in Monroe County and this rehabilitation project will repair critical infrastructure needs to ensure that Spencerport and Fairport remain vibrant communities for residents and visitors alike. I want to thank the New York State Department of Transportation for prioritizing these projects and for their commitment to keeping our community safe.”
Senator Rich Funke said, “Historic lift bridges like the one on Main Street in Fairport are as integral to our community as the canal itself. I'm so pleased to see this investment in strengthening this community asset and making it safer for our residents and ensuring its viability into the future. I want to especially thank Commissioner Dominguez and Director Stratton for their partnership on these important projects.”
Senator Rob Ortt said, “This $16.3 million investment into the Union Street and Main Street lift bridges demonstrates a commitment to preserving the history and character that makes our region so unique. Not only will these rehabilitation projects improve the functionality of the Union Street and Main Street lift bridges, but they will also increase the commercial and residential benefits associated with the surrounding communities. It’s vital that we stay proactive in our care for these Erie Canal lift bridges in order to ensure the history of these bridges – and the vitality of canal communities – continues to thrive.”
Fairport Village Mayor Julie Domaratz said, “This is an exciting time for the Village of Fairport. The Lift Bridge restoration project will preserve our rich history while ushering in a new era for Fairport as a great place to live, work and visit. The Village will be open for business throughout the upcoming project with parking and boating uninterrupted, signature events and activities and much more. All are welcome to come and enjoy the high-quality experience that makes Fairport a go-to destination on the Erie Canal.”
The Route 259 (Union Street) bridge in Spencerport will close to all vehicular and pedestrian traffic on Tuesday, July 9. A posted detour will be in place during the bridge closure, guiding motorists using Route 104 (West Ridge Road), Route 261 (Manitou Road) and Route 31. Pedestrian traffic can use the adjacent Martha Street canal bridge crossing. Access to the Erie Canal Trailway will be maintained throughout the project.
The Route 250 (Main Street) bridge in Fairport is scheduled to close to traffic on September 4. Both bridges are scheduled to re-open late next year.
Follow the New York State Department of Transportation on Twitter at @NYSDOT and @NYSDOTRochester. Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/NYSDOT.
Accelerating Finger Lakes Forward
Today’s announcement complements “Finger Lakes Forward,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $6.1 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan – investing in key industries including photonics, agriculture and food production, and advanced manufacturing. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Rochester, Batavia and Canandaigua as a destination to grow and invest in
Now, the region is accelerating Finger Lakes Forward with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 8,200 new jobs. More information is available here.
About the New York State Canal Corporation
New York’s canal system includes four historic canals: the Erie, Champlain, Oswego and Cayuga-Seneca. Spanning 524 miles, the waterway links the Hudson River with the Great Lakes, the Finger Lakes and Lake Champlain. The canals form the backbone of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor and connect hundreds of unique and historic communities. In 2019, New York will mark the 200th anniversary of the first trip taken on the Erie Canal, from Rome to Utica.
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