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Portage Bridge Approved
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   Author  Topic: Portage Bridge Approved  (Read 945 times)
roc
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Portage Bridge Approved
 
« on: Jan 4th, 2015, 11:30am »
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As I recall, the Portage Bridge replacement likely won't mean much, if anything, for WNYP traffic. Regardless, the feds and states have announced final, final we're holding our breath this time final approval of the Portage Bridge replacement project with construction to begin in 2015…
 
http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/news/2014/12/30/new-railroad-bridge-approved-letchworth-park/21059581/


« Last Edit: Jan 9th, 2015, 1:38pm by roc » Logged

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Matthew_L
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Re: Portage Bridge Approved
 
« Reply #1 on: Jan 4th, 2015, 8:37pm »
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I suppose there might be a detour or two over the WNYP on the day NS cuts over from the old alignment/bridge to the new alignment/bridge. We'll have to wait and see what develops.

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George_Harris
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Re: Portage Bridge Approved
 
« Reply #2 on: Jan 5th, 2015, 12:36am »
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There is a thread on this structure to be found in:  Physical Plant - Track, Structures and Signals  under Railroad Infrastructure, the thread:  Portageville High Bridge-Replacement? Letchworth Park, NY
 
The essence is that the existing structure is load and speed restricted and greatly in need of replacement in order to keep the line in service at all.  Its replacement has been planned for years.  Aside from cost it has run into all the typical obstacles that are thrown in the way of building anything is recent years.
 
Traffic will likely increase due to the replacement structure's ability to carry heavier loads.  Speed across the new structure will likely increase to something in the order of 25 to 30 mph, with the speed limited by the curve at the west end of the structure, not the need to minimize dynamic loading.  
 
It was one of the first structures designed by George S. Morrison.  (His last structure was the Memphis Bridge, at the time and for 38 years thereafter the southernmost bridge across the Mississippi River.  Today that bridge remains in service without load or dimensional restrictions beyond some minimum lengths of heavy cars.)


« Last Edit: Jan 5th, 2015, 12:50am by George_Harris » Logged
roc
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Re: Portage Bridge Approved
  ns-letchworth-portage-ny-bridge.jpg - 96065 Bytes
« Reply #3 on: Jan 9th, 2015, 1:35pm »
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Here's an artist render of what the new Portage, NY/Letchworth bridge will look like.

http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/WNYP/ns-letchworth-portage-ny-bridge.jpg
Click Image to Resize

« Last Edit: Jan 9th, 2015, 1:37pm by roc » Logged

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thebigham
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Re: Portage Bridge Approved
 
« Reply #4 on: Mar 28th, 2015, 7:45pm »
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I've been putting my Letchworth bridge pics here:
 
http://forums.railfan.net/forums.cgi?board=Infrastructure&action=display&num=1287381338&start=49#49
 
Tree cutting is done. The last time the bridge was so open was the 1970s.


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roc
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Re: Portage Bridge Approved
 
« Reply #5 on: Oct 28th, 2015, 8:52am »
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*Construction starts on Letchworth Park bridge
 
The 140-year-old Portageville Bridge in Letchworth State Park is being replaced.
 
Norfolk Southern is set to begin construction on a new railroad bridge in Letchworth Park. The $70 million single-track bridge is expected to take three years to construct. It will replace the historic Portageville Bridge, which will be dismantled upon the project’s completion.
 
Norfolk Southern Manager of Public Relations Dave Pidgeon says transporting cargo more efficiently will boost economic growth in the Southern Tier.
 
“The current bridge has had a 140-year legacy of handling rail traffic in the Southern Tier. And it really is a testament to the engineering expertise, and the labor force, and the craftsmanship from 140 years ago. It has done its job,” said Pidgeon.
 
“We have to slow trains down to 10 miles an hour, we have to reduce cargo loads. And if this bridge should ever go out of service, it would mean a significant consequence to transit times for customers,” he added. “A fully-loaded train can take 280 trucks off the roadway. So there is great public benefit in that way because that means less wear and tear on the public roadway.”
 
Pidgeon says there will also be an environmental advantage.
 
“Another benefit to this project is the Genesee River will now be free flowing. The current bridge, once it is dismantled, the trestles will be removed and the footprint will be taken out of the river. You will have a new scene in that part of the park, with what we think is going to be a beautiful steel arch bridge.”
 
The project was approved by the Federal Highway Administration, which will provide some funding, at the end of last year.
 
“I know some people may ask why a railroad bridge project would be the recipient of a Federal Highway Administration fund. That’s because a fully-loaded train can take 280 trucks off the roadway. So there is great public benefit in that way because that means less wear-and-tear on the public roadway,” said Pidgeon.
 
The new structure will be 900 feet long and located about 75 feet south of the current bridge. Norfolk Southern will also build 1,200 feet of new rails on either side of the Genesee River gorge.
 
Pidgeon said other upgrades will be made to Letchworth.
 
“Once it is done, Norfolk Southern will help contribute to some enhancements to current hiking trails. There will be an expansion of the High Falls parking lot area. So there will be some improvements made to the park once this project is done,” said Pidgeon.
 
http://news.wbfo.org/post/construction-starts-letchworth-park-bridge


« Last Edit: Oct 28th, 2015, 2:17pm by roc » Logged

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thebigham
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Re: Portage Bridge Approved
 
« Reply #6 on: Oct 28th, 2015, 9:58pm »
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http://www.nscorp.com/content/nscorp/en/news/-norfolk-southernandnewyorkstatebeginreplacementofkeyportagevill.html
 
Norfolk Southern and New York State begin replacement of key Portageville rail bridge in support of Southern Tier economy
Castile, N.Y. - Oct 28, 2015
 
Supporting jobs and the economy of New York’s Southern Tier, Norfolk Southern, the New York State Department of Transportation, and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, alongside numerous other supporters, broke ground today on a new $70 million steel arch railroad bridge in Letchworth State Park.
 
The new single-track bridge – expected to take about three years to construct – will be 900 feet long and located about 75 feet south of the current iron truss bridge, which spans the Genesee River Gorge. NS also will construct 1,200 feet of new track on either side of the gorge to align existing tracks with the new bridge.
 
“This successful public-private partnership underscores the strong confidence we all have in the ongoing potential of the Southern Tier,” said James A. Squires, Norfolk Southern chairman, president and CEO. “Norfolk Southern has a robust bridge program, and the new Portageville Bridge will be a testament to today’s expert engineers and the craftsmanship of today’s railroaders. We expect this project will start a new rail legacy for Letchworth State Park and the Southern Tier.”
 
When completed, the new bridge will be the linchpin of a vibrant Norfolk Southern rail line that helps businesses in Buffalo and the Southern Tier regions connect with markets east and west. Among the New York-based entities to benefit from the new bridge will be 10 short line railroads that serve local businesses and connect them to the Norfolk Southern network.
 
“This project is critical to the economy of the Southern Tier,” said New York State Sen. Patrick Gallivan. “The current bridge has served the region well for 140 years, but it must be replaced with a modern span that can meet the transportation needs of the 21st century. In addition to the construction jobs this project will create, the bridge will serve and support businesses throughout the region for years to come.”  
 
The budget for the bridge project includes $3 million in design costs and $2.5 million in construction costs from the New York Department of Transportation; a $2 million grant from the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council; and a $10 million grant from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration. Norfolk Southern will contribute the balance. Construction is expected to begin by the end of 2015.
 
“Maintaining a safe, modern freight rail network throughout New York State is critical to supporting business and generating economic activity,” said Matthew J. Driscoll, New York State Department of Transportation commissioner. “The new Portageville Bridge will be a beautiful and more efficient addition to Letchworth State Park and is one more example of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s commitment to New York State’s rail network.”
 
“The Portageville Bridge project is a great example of building better infrastructure through partnerships between governments at the local, state, and federal level and the private sector,” said Michael Canavan, FHWA New York Division chief operating officer. “FHWA is proud to be a part of it.  New York now has a bridge across the Genesee River that will move long distance freight more efficiently by rail while protecting the beautiful Letchworth State Park for the good of residents, neighbors, and visitors.”
 
The Erie Railroad built the current wrought-iron bridge in 1875, and while it has served several railroad owners from the Erie Lackawanna Railroad to Conrail, its current condition can no longer efficiently handle modern-day freight rail transportation. Currently, Norfolk Southern must slow freight trains crossing the bridge to 10 mph, and freight car weights must be reduced 13,000 pounds below the industry standard.
 
“Our customers look to Norfolk Southern for a 21st century transportation option that’s safe, reliable, and efficient,” said Jim Carter, Norfolk Southern chief engineer bridge and structures. “The way we meet this demand is to have a dependable infrastructure. We look to this new Portageville Bridge as a critical part of the Southern Tier’s success story.”
 
“The replacement Portageville Bridge will continue to complement the natural beauty of Letchworth State Park, while removing a longtime transportation bottleneck,” said Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council co-chairs, University of Rochester President Joel Seligman and Wegmans Food Markets CEO Danny Wegman.  “Breaking ground on this project underscores the importance of private and state partners collaborating to accommodate the freight rail transportation that is so critical to our region’s economic viability. We are pleased that the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council is supporting this major infrastructure project.”
 
The current bridge will remain open during construction of the new arch bridge and then be dismantled. During construction, the Portage entrance to Letchworth State Park will be closed to vehicular traffic. The nearby Castile entrance has been enhanced and will accommodate additional vehicular traffic. Additionally, the Mary Jemison, Finger Lakes and Gorge trails, and the Highbridge parking lot will be closed during construction.
 
State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said, “State Parks congratulates our partners at DOT and Norfolk Southern on the start of this important economic development project. The new bridge was thoughtfully designed to frame the view of the magnificent gorge for all who visit the nation’s favorite state park.”


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roc
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Re: Portage Bridge Approved
 
« Reply #7 on: Oct 29th, 2015, 11:55pm »
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Here's a Progressive Railroading feature on the Portage and other bridge projects…
 
http://www.progressiverailroading.com/mow/article/Railroads-revitalize-aging-bridges-mdash-and-open-up-new-business-opportunities--45710


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roc
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Re: Portage Bridge Approved
 
« Reply #8 on: Dec 15th, 2015, 1:31am »
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Letchworth’s ‘Trestle Bridge’ Demolition to Begin Thursday
 
The golden years of the iconic ‘trestle bridge’ that gracefully spans the Genesee River gorge above the upper falls are coming to an end this week with demolition slated to officially begin Thursday, Dec. 17.
 
The demo will make way for a new $70 million bridge to be built just 75 feet south of the current bridge by Norfolk Southern, the railroad company that owns the rail. Construction for the new bridge broke ground on Oct. 28 and is expected to carry on through the next 3 years.
 
According to Norfolk Southern, the new bridge will be a single-track, 900-f00t long arch. They will also lay 1,200 feet of new track on either side of the Genesee River gorge to align existing tracks with the new bridge.
 
http://www.geneseesun.com/end-line-demolition-letchworths-trestle-bridge-begin-thursday/


« Last Edit: Dec 15th, 2015, 1:39am by roc » Logged

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George_Harris
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Re: Portage Bridge Approved
 
« Reply #9 on: Dec 15th, 2015, 1:00pm »
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on Dec 15th, 2015, 1:31am, roc wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Letchworth’s ‘Trestle Bridge’ Demolition to Begin Thursday
 
The golden years of the iconic ‘trestle bridge’ that gracefully spans the Genesee River gorge above the upper falls are coming to an end this week with demolition slated to officially begin Thursday, Dec. 17.
. . . .
 
http://www.geneseesun.com/end-line-demolition-letchworths-trestle-bridge-begin-thursday/

Didn't Mark Twain say sometime to the effect that "my death has been prematurely announced?"  That is the case here.  
 
After you get past the panicky head lines and read the article, the second paragraph says Quote:
The bridge is not going anywhere immediately, however, and will continue to operate until a new $70 million bridge is built just 75 feet south of the current bridge by Norfolk Southern, the railroad company that owns the rail. Construction for the new bridge broke ground on Oct. 28 and is expected to carry on through the next 3 years.
Notice, "will continue to operate . . . next 3 years."
 
Yes folks, the existing bridge will stay in service until the replacement is complete.  That is the entire reason the new bridge is being built on an offset alignment.  They have got to keet the railroad in operation during the construction period.
 
(Aren't panic inducing eye catching headlines the way the news vendors propaganda mongers attract attention?


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roc
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Re: Portage Bridge Approved
 
« Reply #10 on: Dec 15th, 2015, 6:02pm »
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The headline's been changed since I linked the story. Apparently we weren't the only ones to notice.
 
For what it's worth, propaganda has purpose. The folks at the Genesee Sun probably just made a mistake.


« Last Edit: Dec 15th, 2015, 6:07pm by roc » Logged

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Matthew_L
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Re: Portage Bridge Approved
 
« Reply #11 on: Dec 15th, 2015, 8:15pm »
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Because the original bridge will remain in place until the new one is finished, I no longer foresee any NS detours on the WNYP.

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