Railfan.net Home Railfan Photos ABPR Archives Staff Safari Photos Railfan Links

Railfan.net Forums Railfan.net Forums Railfan.net Forums
Welcome, Guest. Please Sign In or Register. May 25th, 2017, 2:18pm
Categories •  FastIndex •  LongIndex •  Help •  Search •  Members  •  Sign In •  Register


Post reply
   Railfan.net Web Forums
   Physical Plant - Track, Structures and Signals
   Railroad Infrastructure
   Post reply ( Re: Portageville High Bridge-Replacement? Letchworth Park, NY )
A Username and Password are REQUIRED to Post.

If you are seeing this, you are either not logged in or your browser is not honoring the username and password cookie.
 
Username:
Password:
Post reply
Subject:
Message icon:
Add YABBC tags:
Message:

Photo Attachments require Netscape 4 or greater or IE5 or greater
Disable Smilies:

Check this if you'll be adding code (or don't like smileys).

shortcuts (IE and NS6 only): hit alt+s to send, alt+p to preview, or alt+r to reset


Topic Summary
Posted by: George_Harris Posted on: Oct 18th, 2010, 1:55am
A plan is underway to replace the huge bridge at Letchworth State Park over the Genessee River.
 
I did not know where to put this thread.  
1. Maybe under North American Railroads on the Norfolk Southern board, because NS is the current operator of the bridge.  
2. Maybe under Fallen Flags on the Erie Lackawanna Board, since the line and bridge were formerly the Erie Railroad main line between Hornell, New York and Buffalo.  
3. Finally decided to put in under Physical Plant – Infrastructure, since the main point is the bridge and the line, regardless of who is or was the owner and operator.
 
Most of the following is from information found on either the Letchworth Park or the New York State Department of Transportation web sites, which I would assume reasonable to consider free use.  Some is from other web sites, and some from other research and personal knowledge, source forgotten.
 
From the NYSDOT site:  The bridge is at milepost 361.66 on the Norfolk Southern’s Southern Tier Line, located in the towns of Portage in Livingston County and Genesse Falls in Wyoming County.  (For reference:  Hornell is at milepost 331.3, Warsaw NY at 375.4, and Buffalo at 423.8.  Zero is at Jersey City, NJ.)
 
Further informationcan be found at https://www.nysdot.gov/programs/smart-planning/repository/PBRapplication.pdf
 
It appears that the proposed bridge will be partly funded by NS and partly by New York state.  The most reasonable plan (in my opinion, at least) and the one appearing most likely to happen is to place the new bridge about 75 feet south of the existing bridge and connect it in by modifying the line in the curves on each side of the bridge.  From some of what was stated, the existing bridge may be deeded over to the state and turned into a pedestrian bridge.  The rendering shows the new bridge as having a single span steel arch over the gorge.  This bridge will be the third at the site.  
 
A brief history:
 
The first bridge was a very large wood trestle.  According to the park web site, construction began on July 1, 1852, but this is a typo, as elsewhere the date is given as July 1, 1851.  The first train across it ran on August 14, 1852.  The news article on the fire that destroyed the bridge states that construction started in the spring of 1851 and the first train passed over it on August 16, 1852.  (Nearly 160 years removed from the event, there would seem to be no reason to quibble over a two day discrepancy in opening date.)  Both sources agree that huge barbeque celebrating the opening of the bridge occurred on August 24, 1852.  The bridge consisted of stone piers in the river bed with large wood towers and wood trusses, consuming 250 acres of pine forest to construct.  The finished structure was about 800 feet long and 234 feet high above the riverbed.  This bridge was designed by Silas Seymour, at the time Chief Engineer of the Erie.  
 
This bridge burned in the predawn hours of Wednesday, May 6, 1875.  
 
Four days after the fire, the Erie contracted with Watson Manufacturing Company of Patterson, New Jersey to construct a replacement bridge.  The work got under way so quickly that there were  rumors that the Erie Railroad had the fire set as the quickest way to get rid of a bridge that was becoming inadequate for the increasing train loads, and not incidentally in those days before the use of creosote, beginning to rot.  
 
The designer of the replacement bridge was George S. Morison.  He was at that time Principal Assistant Engineer for the Erie Railroad, working under Octave Chanute, who was the Erie's Chief Engineer.  Both of these men are well known 19th century pioneers in engineering.  Morison was principle designer of ten bridges over the Missouri River and three over the Upper Mississippi.  His crowning achievement and his last major bridge was the first bridge over the Lower Mississippi River.  This bridge was formally named the Memphis Bridge, but has been known as the Frisco Bridge for most of its existence.  It opened in 1892, and until 1930 was the southern-most bridge of any kind across the Mississippi River, and for over 20 years was the only bridge across the lower river.  It is still in service today as a BNSF mainline structure and has no clearance restrictions, with only short heavy cars, not including 286,000 pound cars in unit train service, prohibited.
 
Back to the Letchworth Bridge:  It appears that the design of the 1875 replacement structure was compromised by the necessity that it be constructed and placed in service as quickly as practical.  
 
Quoting:  "Morison also stated that the final design for the new bridge was “prepared in the hurry of a pressing necessity", and that he and the other engineers "were obliged to conform in a measure to the plan of the original timber structure." For example the masonry that had been laid for the original bridge made them extend the width of each of the six towers from the desired 25 or 30 feet to a full 50 feet. But Morison and his crew proceeded quickly, the last tower being erected in only eleven days.  The Bridge was ready for testing by July 31st, and had only cost half as much as the original.”  The testing consisted or running increasing numbers of engines across the bridge.  Although not stated here, from reading about the first moves of engines onto the Memphis Bridge, deflections and other structure movements were probably being measured as these engines were operated over the bridge.
 
This replacement bridge is described as being 819 feet long.  It is likely that the height is the same 234 feet mentioned for the wood bridge.  It is also likely that the 800 feet length mentioned for the wood bridge was an approximation, and the actual length was the same 819 feet as that of the steel bridge.
 
As an aside, the Erie Railroad was built with 6’-0” gauge tracks.  The conversion to standard gauge took place on July 29, 1881, according to information found on the wnyrails.org web site.  The track on both the original bridge and its 1875 replacement would therefore have been 6’-0” gauge.  
 
From the description of the bridge in the New York DOT information, the superstructure elements were replaced in 1903.  This replacement superstructure consisted of three spans of pin connected deck trusses and ten spans of deck plate girders, with the girders over the towers and the trusses between them.  The difference is clear when looking at pre and post 1903 photographs.  The original superstructure was all trusses.
 
This 1875/1903 bridge is the one still in service.  Currently it has a 10 mph speed limit and a 273,000 pound (for four axle cars) weight restriction,  based on some New York DOT information.  A speed restriction on this bridge is of long standing, although formerly less severe.  In a 1948 Erie employee timetable, the speed restriction was 20 mph for engines and 30 mph for the rest of the train.  
 
Even after replacement, trains are not going to be flying over the structure at high speeds.  The NY state application is talking about 35 mph, due to the curves.  Based on the same 1948 timetable, that is about as good as you can get on the curve at the west end of the bridge.  
Posted by: Lfire83 Posted on: Oct 26th, 2010, 11:01pm
I missed this thread! Thanks for the update
Posted by: George_Harris Posted on: Oct 30th, 2010, 11:58pm
Chasing the subject a little more, I found a track chart for the line from the Conrail era on www.multimodalways.org.  When I copied the link and tried to see if it worked, it would not.  I got to the page the track chart was on by a search of Conrail track charts erie line.  
 
Looking at the track chart, the curve east of the bridge is a compound 3d15m, 2d15m, 3d00m, and the curve west of the bridge 7d00m.  For the 7 degree curve, a speed of 30 to 35 mph is about it for freight.  Since this curve is right off the end of the bridge, the speed on the new bridge cannot be more.  A slight improvement in the curve would be possible with the bridge moved south, but not much improvement.
Posted by: Lfire83 Posted on: Oct 31st, 2010, 10:27pm
Viewing the line segment from aerial images and topographical maps, you would think NS could cough up a little cash and realign the grade on the northwest approach, as it is just vacant rolling land. Whoever owns it could make a quick buck and NS would have a much easier approach to the new bridge.
Posted by: George_Harris Posted on: Dec 2nd, 2010, 10:13pm
And we see that the bridge is being very carefully monitored.
 
http://www.clevelandelectriclabs.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Norfolk-Southern-Project-Web-Version.pdf
 
This paper talks about placing strain and temperature sensors on some members of the bridge to detect cracking.
 
"78 surface mounted strain sensors
"22 temperature sensors
"1 single axis optical accelerometer
 
All these sending signals to provide a structural warning system directly tied to the NS dipatching center for this line.  
 
A traffic volume of "up to 14 trains per day" was also mentioned.
Posted by: George_Harris Posted on: Jan 1st, 2011, 10:14pm
on Oct 31st, 2010, 10:27pm, Lfire83 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Viewing the line segment from aerial images and topographical maps, you would think NS could cough up a little cash and realign the grade on the northwest approach, as it is just vacant rolling land. Whoever owns it could make a quick buck and NS would have a much easier approach to the new bridge.

In fact, looking at the USGS map, it appears that the line did in the past have a much better horizontal alingment on the northwest approach.  Would love to know the realitiy, first if it was, and second, if it was, then why was it changed.
Posted by: George_Harris Posted on: Jan 1st, 2011, 10:44pm
Got a look at a NS employee timetable.  The line is now single track with sidings at approximately 20 mile intervals.  Not as bad as it sounds, as the sidings very in length from 2.5 miles up to 5 miles, so they really function as short sections of double track in place, although with a 25 mph speed limit.
 
Line speed is 50 mph.  Here are the speed limits in the vicinity of the bridge.  
 
359.1 and back for a considerable distance:  50 mph
359.1 to 360.5:  40 mph
360.5 to 361.5:  30 mph
361.5 to 362.1:  10 mph - the bridge
362.1 to 362.6:  30 mph
362.6 and ahead for a considerable distance:  50 mph
 
Weight limit (for a four axle car):  286,000 pounds, except
273,000 pounds between 351.6 and 368.3
 
That weight is really pushing it in my opinion.  No wonder they have the bridge thoroughly instrumented.  
Posted by: Henry Posted on: Jan 2nd, 2011, 12:53pm
on Jan 1st, 2011, 10:14pm, George_Harris wrote:       (Click here for original message)

In fact, looking at the USGS map, it appears that the line did in the past have a much better horizontal alingment on the northwest approach.  Would love to know the realitiy, first if it was, and second, if it was, then why was it changed.

 
George,
 
I recently studied that alignment in aerial photos. It was realigned, in the 1880's I believe, to reduce the westbound grade (vertical alignment) from the gorge to Castile. Some helpers were still needed until heavier power became available in the early 1900's.
 
That bridge is a special place for me. In July of 1997 I poured my dad's ashes off of that bridge. He and I had visited there several times in the past. CR obliged us with two westbounds, one just before we went out onto the bridge and one just as we were ready to walk off it. The ladies panicked and double-timed it off the bridge as soon as the head end rounded the curve on the east side of the bridge, but the rest of us knew we had plenty of time. A lifelong railfan, dad would have appreciated the RR's apparent send-off.
 
I couldn't help it, I rode the last car off of the bridge  
 
Henry
Posted by: scottychaos Posted on: Jan 11th, 2011, 12:45pm
This alignment mystery was solved on "the other forum" a year ago.
short story, the tracks were probably moved due to "bad" or somehow unstable land on the original route..could be swampy land, quicksand, etc..
it is known the BR&P-B&O tracks had issues with the ground in this region.
 
but whatever the specific reason, the railroad thought it was worth it to create a new route that *looks* worse on paper (worse curves) but obviously must be better in reality..it seems unlikely NS will change it.
 
check it out:
http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=128&t=65012&start=60
 
I agree with the poster in that thread who suggested the reason for the move was probably *not* grades..since the topo maps show no grade to speak of..its quite flat through that original alignment.  
 
Scot
 
 
Posted by: Henry Posted on: Jan 11th, 2011, 5:46pm
Actually, it drops about 100 feet between the point the new alignment diverged from the old one and the bridge. The longer route ought to have an easier grade. The relocation was part of the Buffalo Division double tracking project and was completed in the summer of 1882 according to a Bill Burt article on the River Line.
 
I just don't recall where I read it, but it was documented that helpers were needed for the grade to Castile and there was even a helper pocket there. It was written that even after the line relocation helpers were still occasionally needed to make the grade with the heaviest trains. Maybe I'll find it again some day.
 
I read that other thread and frankly I don't see that the mystery was solved there at all.
 
Henry
Posted by: scottychaos Posted on: Jan 11th, 2011, 7:28pm
I really dont think an excess grade could be the answer..
its such a short distance, (less than a mile)..the topo maps show nothing, and 100 feet is meaningless to a railroad..a small fill could easily take care of that..
 
has to be something wrong with the land itself..
there are known issues with the landscape all over this area, as far as railroads are concerned..thats the only reason for the new alignment that makes any sense.."because of grades" just doesn't fit the landscape.
 
 
Scot
Posted by: George_Harris Posted on: Jan 12th, 2011, 3:36am
I think grade was exactly the reason.  
 
Actually, 100 feet of rise is a very big deal to a railroad.  Rate of grade is also a very big deal.  Another big deal in freight railroading is short grades up and down in sucession.  A very common quick and dirty measurement of line quality, particularly as it relates to handling freight is the total amount of rise and fall in a given segment.  
 
The amount of rise here was not that great, but it was, on the original line, at a rate of about 1.00%, possibly more.  That is a guess, based on topo maps.  The current alignment has a lower grade, 0.66% as found on the track chart, and eliminated one intermediate crest.  
 
To eliminate any doubt that grade was the reason, go a few miles north to Silver Spring.  There you will see where the additional curves and some additional length were introduced into the line to go around a sag rather than across it.  Here the post-relocation grade is 0.48%.  I did not attempt to work out the former grade from the topo maps.  
 
Another word of explanation:  The Erie was noted as a low grade freight hauler.  The key word here is "low grade"  Having low grades made the operation of long heavy freight trains more economical.  This was the Erie's bread and butter.  
 
Historically, the railroad alignment concept has been to, where practical, go around obstacles rather that to go up and down or down and up to cross them.
Posted by: George_Harris Posted on: Nov 29th, 2011, 6:27pm
There is a little more kicking around on the bridge replacement:
www.buffalonews.com/incoming/article651143.ece
It appears to be coming back to life.
 
As seems typical with many of these things, everybody involved has wonderful ideas of what they want and think should be done while keeping their own checkbook firmly closed.  
 
The big issue in the realm of public discussion is having some sort of pedestrial passage across the gorge.  Therefore there is quite a bit of discussion concerning keeping the old bridge or providing a walkway on the replacement.  It stated in the article that NS had offered to give the  bridge to the Office of State Parks and Historic Preservation for use as an observation platform when the new bridge is completed, but the offer was turned down.
 
Numbers kicked around in the article were:
$1 million ot take down the existing bridge - by NS
$1 to $2 million to redeck it and turn it into a walkway, which is probably a pretty good number as it was stated as coming from the project manager for doing the same to the Poughkeepsie Bridge.
$39 million for the new bridge with $17.75 from US DOT, $17.75 from NS and CP, and $3.5 from New York State.
 
At least after seeing a rendering of the old bridge and the proposed bridge sisde by side the conssensus seemed to be that the replacement looked good and the scene was not improved by keeping the old one.  
 
The height of dingbattiness in the article has to be in this statement:
Quote:
Tim Tielman of Campaign for Greater Buffalo suggested Norfolk Southern had a responsibility to retain the bridge since it operates a private overpass in a public park and is seeking state and federal funds to replace it.

Private overpass
Posted by: George_Harris Posted on: Dec 14th, 2011, 1:14am
See page 7 in the attached for a view of the proposed replacement structure
 
http://www.gbnrtc.org/fileadmin/content/pdf/Freight/Portageville_Bridge_Presentation.pdf .
Posted by: Lfire83 Posted on: Jan 17th, 2012, 5:10pm
I just now noticed the NS powerpoint link... anyone else see they used an Atlas model tank car to illustrate the type of traffic that moves over the line?  
Posted by: George_Harris Posted on: Jan 17th, 2012, 9:54pm
on Jan 17th, 2012, 5:10pm, Lfire83 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I just now noticed the NS powerpoint link... anyone else see they used an Atlas model tank car to illustrate the type of traffic that moves over the line?  

I had looked through this several times without realizing that this was a model at all.  For those who don't want to seach, it is on p. 14 of the power point.
Posted by: Matthew_L Posted on: Jan 24th, 2012, 8:26pm
on Jan 11th, 2011, 12:45pm, scottychaos wrote:       (Click here for original message)
This alignment mystery was solved on "the other forum" a year ago.
short story, the tracks were probably moved due to "bad" or somehow unstable land on the original route..could be swampy land, quicksand, etc..
it is known the BR&P-B&O tracks had issues with the ground in this region.

 
I agree with George's assessment that the grade, rather than the soft ground, was the reason for the realignment. The Erie built the River Line nearby in 1911 on some rather soft ground... as a bypass around the original mainline... which had a 1% grade westbound near Andover.    
Posted by: ClydeDET Posted on: Jan 26th, 2012, 2:30pm
Soft ground can be dealt with - consider the Great Dismal Swamp crossing. Adverse grade is coninuing grief forever.
Posted by: George_Harris Posted on: Dec 17th, 2012, 2:25pm
One more step in the glacial pace that seems to have become the norm for any large project.  There is an announcement of a public hearing to be held on January 10 in the "Genesse River Restaurant and Reception Center at 134 North Main St. in Mount Morris."  The article states that railroad officials will be available to answer questions at 4:30 and the hearing itself will start at 6:00.  
 
http://thedailynewsonline.com/news/article_dbc343f4-460d-11e2-a6d1-001a4bcf887a.html
 
This is in The Daily News, "serving Genesse, Wyoming, and Orleans (NY) counties."  The "NY" in parenthesis is theirs not mine.  The address appears to be Batavia, NY.  Since I know little about upstate New York geography, all these locations are meaningless to me.  
 
Quote:
Construction could begin in 2013 or 2014 and would take at least three years, officials said. The Portageville entrance at Letchworth State Park would be closed to vehicle traffic to accommodate the work.

 
Other information from the article is an estimated cost of $69 million, a comment that bridge construction costs have more than tripled since 2000, and Marcellus shale development will cause increases in traffic.
 
It appears that the offset alignment has been settled on for the location of the replacement.
Posted by: George_Harris Posted on: May 10th, 2013, 3:57am
I started this thread 2 1/2 years ago.  Looks like for now every six months is about often enough to bring it up.
 
Another step:
https://www.dot.ny.gov/portagevillebridge
(the bridge location, milepost 361.66
And here is the information:
 
Quote:
Portageville Bridge Project  
Project I.D. No. 4935.79 , Contract Number    
 
Project Overview
 
Norfolk Southern Railway will replace the Portageville Viaduct, which carries their Southern Tier Rail Line over the Genesee River in Letchworth State Park.
. . . .
 
A public hearing was held on January 10, 2013 at the Genesee River Restaurant and Reception Center, 134 North Main Street, Mount Morris, NY 14510.  Department of Transportation and Norfolk Southern representatives were on hand and graphic displays were available.  Displays and presentations from the hearing are available on the Community Outreach page of this website.
 
The public comment period for the Draft EIS closed on February 1, 2013.  NYSDOT is in the process of reviewing and responding to the comments received.  These responses, in addition to a selection of the preferred alternative, will be published in a Final EIS, which will be posted here.
. . . .
 
Project Status
• The current status of the project is In Development.
•The Bid Opening is expected to be in Spring 2013.
•Construction is expected to begin in Summer 2013.
•Construction is expected to be completed in Winter 2016/2017.
 
Cost of the Project
The DOT project cost is approximately $67,500,000.  
For additional information on this Project, please see the NYWorks.gov web site.
 
This project receives funding from the following sources:  
Federal: No  
State : Yes  
Local : No  
 
The scheduled dates shown are approximations only. For more detailed information, please utilize the "Contact Us" information provided.
Posted by: George_Harris Posted on: Nov 20th, 2013, 7:07pm
And we have some further movement!
 
in http://thedailynewsonline.com/news/article_dfa165c0-519f-11e3-afad-001a4bcf887a.html
 
It was stated in this that the Feds will kick in $10 million.  This is new.
 
Total cost is still estimated as around $68 million.  Now the breakdown of the rest is:
State of New York:  $5.5 million
Norfolk Southern, the rest except some unstated, but presumably small amount from Canadian Pacific which has trackage rights.
 
The new requirement with the Federal money is the need to do an Environmental Review meeting the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act.  No statement as to how long that will take, but I would guess about a year.  Add to this the estimated 3 years to build the bridge, and we are looking at completion in something like 2018 or later.  
 
However, with the environmental issues it is mentioned, "Among the new environmental considerations is an endangered bat reportedly found living in the area."
 
Here is the updated project overview found on the NY DOT web site.  I am assuming that since it is a public document it is OK to copy it.  
 
https://www.dot.ny.gov/portagevillebridge
Quote:
Portageville Bridge Project
Project I.D. No. 4935.79    Contract Number   (none yet)
 
Project Overview
 
Norfolk Southern Railway will replace the Portageville Viaduct, which carries their Southern Tier Rail Line over the Genesee River in Letchworth State Park. The current weight and speed restrictions on the bridge were identified in the 2009 New York State Rail Plan as one of the top ten rail bottlenecks in New York.
 
The project was initiated in an effort to consider alternatives to include the rehabilitation of the existing bridge or replacement of the bridge on existing, adjacent, or offsite alignments. NYSDOT and Norfolk Southern Railway have entered into a historic public/private partnership to explore these transportation enhancements to New York State's freight railway infrastructure. NYSDOT, in cooperation with Norfolk Southern, is developing design studies for this project.
 
The current bridge is at mile post (MP) SR 361.66 on the Norfolk Southern Railway Southern Tier Line, and is physically located in the Town of Portage (Livingston County) and the Town of Genesee Falls (Wyoming County).  
 
Federal funds were added to the project in the Fall of 2013, which require that the environmental review comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The financing of the SEQR DEIS, along with the written and other comments received during the public comment period will form the basis of a new DEIS prepared pursuant to NEPA.  
 
NYSDOT is accepting public comments on the scope of the NEPA analysis until December 19, 2013 at PortagevilleBridge@dot,ny.gov or Raymond Hessinger, P.E., Director, Freight & Passenger Rail Bureau, 50 Wolf Road, Albany, NY 12232.
 
For more information, please refer to the NEPA scoping brochure.

 
Note that it is possible to make comments on this project.  Go to the email address given in the last paragraph to submit your comment.
Posted by: George_Harris Posted on: Jan 9th, 2014, 12:48am
Additional updates.  This time a presentation made before the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance of Way Association (AREMA)
 
http://www.arema.org/files/library/2013_Conference_Proceedings/Desgin_of_New_Portageville_Bridge.pdf
 
Do a google for the article title if the link does not work.
 
And an article in Roads and Bridges November 2013 issue:
 
http://www.roadsbridges.com/sites/default/files/52_Portageville%20Bridge_RB1113.pdf
 
It appears that the construction contract has not been let as yet, but should be soon.
Posted by: ClydeDET Posted on: Jan 13th, 2014, 10:58pm
Very interesting, George. Looks as if it will be a very handsome structure and one that will become iconic.
Posted by: George_Harris Posted on: Jan 23rd, 2014, 8:40pm
Not very good at keeping up with things as they come out.  Here is a link ot the DEIS (Draft Environmental Impact Statement) which is dated November 2012, but I think was made public a few months later:
https://www.dot.ny.gov/portagevillebridge/deis
This site links about 40 pdf files that if printed would probably get you over 1000 pages.   (I have not printed it, and probably won't except for a few parts.)  One of the more interesting is Appendix G, Visual Impact Assessment Report.  It has some vews of the new bridge as a computer model.  
 
Developing one of these reports is a horrendous effort.  Look at this thing  and remember that it is for one bridge and probably under 1/2 mile of approach tracks, then think of what these reports get to be like when you are talking a few hundred miles of new railroad.  The nature of the beast is that they are tilted to prevent new work.  For a long piece of road or railroad you will end up with, if all printed out, quite literally a room full of reports and plans representing thousands of hours of work before there is any possibility of getting the various permits necessary to start any physical work.  Read this one for this relatively speaking small and simple project and you will understand why it takes so long to get anything done in this country.
Posted by: George_Harris Posted on: Mar 7th, 2014, 1:28am
And things continue to move at a glacial pace:
 
Quote:
Project Status
• The current status of the project is In Development.
•The Bid Opening is expected to be in Fall 2014.
•Construction is expected to begin in Fall 2014.
•Construction is expected to be completed in Spring 2016.
 
Cost of the Project
The DOT project cost is approximately $67,500,000.  
 
This project receives funding from the following sources:  
Federal: No  
State : Yes  
Local : No

Posted by: George_Harris Posted on: Sep 17th, 2014, 10:07pm
One more step in process toward real construction happening.
 
For those that do not want to look for it, this is the Portageville Viaduct at mile post (MP) SR 361.66 on the Norfolk Southern Railway Southern Tier Line, and is located in the Town of Portage (Livingston County) and the Town of Genesee Falls (Wyoming County).   This is nydot Project I.D. No. 4935.79 , Contract Number <none yet>,
 
From their web page, https://www.dot.ny.gov/portagevillebridge
 
Quote:
A project presentation and public hearing was held on August 26, 2014 at 5:30 PM at the Genesee River Restaurant, 134 North Main Street, Mount Morris, NY 14510.  Presentations and documents from the hearing are available on the Community Outreach page.
 
Based on the findings of the DEIS, the written and oral comments received during the public hearing, and comments received during the DEIS public review period (ending on September 15, 2014), FHWA and NYSDOT will prepare a combined Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and Record of Decision (ROD).

 
The "status" still shows:
•The Bid Opening is expected to be in Fall 2014.
•Construction is expected to begin in Fall 2014.
•Construction is expected to be completed in Spring 2016
and an estimated cost of $67,500,000
Posted by: George_Harris Posted on: Dec 29th, 2014, 8:21pm
Another update, but nothing happening
 
Quote:
Project Status
• The current status of the project is In Development.
•The Bid Opening is expected to be in Spring 2015.
•Construction is expected to begin in Summer 2015.
•Construction is expected to be completed in Winter 2017/2018.
 
Cost of the Project
The DOT project cost is approximately $70,000,000.
Posted by: ClydeDET Posted on: Dec 29th, 2014, 9:59pm
Like always if the gummit gets its paws into things, costs more and takes longer. Oh well, what else is new?
Posted by: George_Harris Posted on: Jan 5th, 2015, 12:33am
By Roc to be found in Regionals and Short Lines in the WNY&P, LA&L & B&H thread, link to a newspaper article:
 
http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/news/2014/12/30/new-railroad-bridge-approved-letchworth-park/21059581/
 
What city the newspaper?  It does not say, and I have no idea where not being from or ever in anywhere near the area of this bridge.
 
The title of the article:  Portage Bridge Approved dated 12/30/2014  
 
The essence being Quote:
Federal approvals announced on Tuesday clear the way for a $71 million replacement project that would build a new railroad bridge over the Genesee River in Letchworth State Park.
Posted by: CHESSIEMIKE Posted on: Jan 5th, 2015, 6:19am
on Jan 5th, 2015, 12:33am, George_Harris wrote:       (Click here for original message)

What city the newspaper?  It does not say, and I have no idea where not being from or ever in anywhere near the area of this bridge.
I think that paper is out of Rochester, NY.
CHESSIEMIKE
Posted by: thebigham Posted on: Mar 20th, 2015, 9:40pm
I was at the bridge yesterday, March 19.
 
A lot has been cut on the east bank in the past week.
 
They have a crane now to help.
Posted by: thebigham Posted on: Mar 20th, 2015, 9:41pm
west bank
Posted by: thebigham Posted on: Mar 20th, 2015, 9:41pm
bridge
 
Posted by: thebigham Posted on: Mar 20th, 2015, 9:42pm
bridge and crane on east bank
Posted by: thebigham Posted on: Mar 20th, 2015, 9:43pm
PRR Rochester Branch grade underneath the bridge
Posted by: George_Harris Posted on: Mar 20th, 2015, 10:08pm
From the pictures sure looks like the work has started.  Yet when I go to the NYDOT web
https://www.dot.ny.gov/portagevillebridge  
there is still no contract number shown and it still says the Project Status is:
Quote:
The current status of the project is In Development.
The Bid Opening is expected to be in Spring 2015.
Construction is expected to begin in Summer 2015.
Construction is expected to be completed in Winter 2017/2018.

which would lead you to think that the work has not started, or at the least a contract for the structure itself has not been let.
 
The clearing of trees is in the right place for construction of the offset structure that has been shown in some of the information on the project.
 
Sure hope this means that work is really getting under way.
Posted by: thebigham Posted on: Mar 21st, 2015, 12:03pm
Tree cutting is the first step.
 
The Portageville entrance of Letchworth will be closed for 4 years. I was told that by the booth attendant last fall so they are expecting work to begin this year.
 
They are expanding the Castile entrance to handle the extra traffic.
 
I really think work on the abutments will begin this years.
Posted by: George_Harris Posted on: Mar 21st, 2015, 11:40pm
A little search to see if I could find more.  Not really.  There is a rather nice blurb from the state, but it refers to the NYDOT page for more information which has nothing new as to progress toward a contract.
 
http://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-announces-federal-approval-plan-replace-historic-portageville-rail-bridge
 
It does give information on who is paying how much.
Quote:
Construction of the new rail bridge is expected to cost approximately $71 million. NYSDOT has contributed $3 million in design costs and has secured $12.5 million of state and federal funding for construction costs. The balance would be provided by the railroad. The funding includes a grant of $2 million from the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council.

The "how much" has grown quite a bit since I first started looking at this operation nearly 4 years ago, when the number for the replacement was given as "$39 million for the new bridge with $17.75 from US DOT, $17.75 from NS and CP, and $3.5 from New York State."
 
Seems that the amount from the various governments has shrunken while the overall total cost has risen A LOT.  Incidentally, given New York State's higher than anybody else (by far!) taxes on railroads, they do not feel the least bit guilty taking state money for something like this.
 
Link with a lot of information and nice pictures, particularly at the end.
https://www.arema.org/files/library/2013_Conference_Proceedings/Desgin_of_New_Portageville_Bridge.pdf  
 
A nice little slide show from NS, dated July 6, 2010
http://www.gbnrtc.org/files/6213/2769/5487/Portageville_Bridge_Presentation.pdf
 
One more bit of information:
http://www.rtands.com/index.php/track-structure/bridge-retaining-walls/new-york-gets-federal-approval-for-new-portageville-bridge.html?channel=284
 
Says approval of the FEIS (Final Environmental Impact Statement) was on December 16, 2014, so work may start.  Here we are mid-March and nothing or near nothing has happened.  These people better watch out or they will be run down by high-speed glaciers.  
Posted by: HwyHaulier Posted on: Mar 22nd, 2015, 7:36am
George - Lodge Members -
 
(SIGH!) FEIS? Is there anything resembling 'Final' in any of this?
 
Let's suppose your correspondent went wandering at site. Noted presence of an extended family of blue speckled frogs,  
which an 'endangered species'? The ethical question? Would it be on one to have a duty to 'turn them in' to the Law?
 
Might that reopen the 'EIS' discussion, with tons of reports subsequent, until we get some FEIS which mandates  
actions to protect the frogs? Fair is fair? Should the ex post facto discovery enough to revisit the file?
 
................................Vern..............................
Posted by: thebigham Posted on: Mar 22nd, 2015, 1:12pm
Near nothing has happened because winter just ended. It was a rough winter here in Western New York.
 
Construction season is coming up soon.
 
Posted by: thebigham Posted on: Mar 27th, 2015, 8:35pm
Tree cutting is done on the east bank and west the west bank in Letchworth St Park.
 
The road underneath the bridge has been reopened.
 
Get your pics now before the road permanently closes for bridge construction!
Posted by: George_Harris Posted on: Mar 28th, 2015, 12:34pm
on Mar 22nd, 2015, 7:36am, HwyHaulier wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Let's suppose your correspondent went wandering at site. Noted presence of an extended family of blue speckled frogs, which an 'endangered species'? The ethical question? Would it be on one to have a duty to 'turn them in' to the Law?

Alas, you have just described the quandary that occurs when a farmer sees some critter that he had not seen before along one of his fields.  In the past if he had curiosity there would be a tendency to watch it and see what happens, maybe discuss it with a neighbor.  Now, much as he might like to do that since the EPA does not seem to understand the concept of "no taking without compensation" self preservation says use the "three S" method:  Shoot, shovel, and shut up, because if the word that there is some strange critter out there got to the wrong ears he may find himself shut out of his own land.
Posted by: HwyHaulier Posted on: Mar 28th, 2015, 3:21pm
George - Lodge Members -  
 
Many Thanks for this does of day to day reality.
 
Let's say your writer has "...a friend..." with house on a 'city lot' in heritage farm community County. The problem here being,  
even with a fairly small lot, seasonal rains accumulate and hold in the back end. Is this, by current fad defintion therefore a  
'protected wetland'? Don't know much of nothin' about any of it, of course...
 
Used to be, local neighbor with a backyard pool. The migrating Canadian Geese became to have it imprinted in their embedded  
GPS it was a friendly stop, and... Else, the Geese flying Fort Myers, FL and back, dependent on time of year...
 
...........................Vern........................
Posted by: thebigham Posted on: Mar 28th, 2015, 5:23pm
Tree cutting is done at Letchworth and the road under the bridge has reopened.
 
It will close in June for construction to begin so get your pics soon.
Posted by: thebigham Posted on: Mar 28th, 2015, 5:25pm
The east bank
Posted by: thebigham Posted on: Mar 28th, 2015, 5:26pm
The aproximate location of the new bridge
Posted by: thebigham Posted on: Mar 28th, 2015, 5:28pm
Trees that were on the right are gone
Posted by: thebigham Posted on: Mar 28th, 2015, 5:29pm
West bank
Posted by: thebigham Posted on: Mar 28th, 2015, 5:31pm
The east bank with the trees that used to be on the left are now gone
Posted by: George_Harris Posted on: Mar 28th, 2015, 7:41pm
To thebigham:
 
Just to say a thank you very much for your pictures of the current situation at the bridge.  Looks like you have had a recent snow up there?  These are some of the clearest views of the bridge I have seen.
Posted by: thebigham Posted on: Mar 28th, 2015, 7:47pm
We had an inch of snow this morning.
 
It was 18 degrees with a windchill when I was at the bridge.
 
We still have winter here. UGH
Posted by: George_Harris Posted on: Apr 7th, 2015, 4:44pm
If the same restrictions apply in upstate New York, maybe this thread explains why the trees are being cut before the construction contract is even awarded.
 
http://forums.railfan.net/forums.cgi?board=NJT;action=display;num=1259348932
 
Quoting from the last post in that thread, "Federal regulations say the woodlands can't be cleared after April 1 because two species of bats are known to roost in trees and they are coming out of hibernation now. The species, Indiana and long-eared brown bats, are on the federal protected species list and their habitat can't be disturbed until Nov. 15."
Posted by: thebigham Posted on: Jun 15th, 2015, 1:03pm
Ken Wallace posted this on Facebook on June 11:
 
This morning the bridge construction companies that were prequalified to bid on the Bridge Project showed up first at the East side and then arrived at the Trestle Parking lot. 15 companies were selected from the pool of prospective builders and these companies arrived today for a meeting at the Glen Iris and then went to the job site. It will still be a while before the Portageville entrance will be closed as this now will be in the bidding process and then a contractor will eventually be selected to perform the work
Posted by: George_Harris Posted on: Jun 15th, 2015, 1:46pm
Finall things are beginning to move.  In addition to the site visit listed, this has happened:
Quote:
PRUDENT ENGINEERING WINS PORTAGEVILLE BRIDGE CONSTRUCTION INSPECTION CONTRACT
06.05.2015

A couple of points of interest in the company's announcement in their description of their responsibilities which are much the usual for their type of work is:
Quote:
Due to the height of the bridge, early phases of construction may require Prudent’s industrial rope-access technicians to perform inspection work on an as-needed basis.
Posted by: George_Harris Posted on: Jul 17th, 2015, 5:19pm
And my monthly check in on what is happening.  Beyond the tree cutting that appears to have been done outside the state's contracting for this job, NOTHING.  The NY DOT web site still says contract to be awarde in the spring of 2015, but nothing to indicate that it actually has been.  This despite an article in RT&S  
http://www.rtands.com/index.php/track-structure/bridge-retaining-walls/new-york-gets-federal-approval-for-new-portageville-bridge.html
saying that Federal approvals have been given.
 
The article contains such statements as:
Quote:
The Federal Highway Administration has issued a Record of Decision for design and construction of the new bridge, which spans between Portage in Livingston County and Genesee Falls in Wyoming County.

and a statement by Gov. Coumo
Quote:
By receiving the federal government's approval, we can now move forward with this new project, which will replace the existing bridge and better incorporate it into the beautiful surroundings of Letchworth State Park. I am pleased that we have reached this stage in the project and I look forward to seeing construction begin in 2015.

and
Quote:
The Final Environmental Impact Statement was issued on December 16, 2014

 
This Final EIS would what have been necessary to allow the tree cutting to happen, but now what/when?
Posted by: thebigham Posted on: Oct 4th, 2015, 9:41pm
Pics from Augustl 2015
 
Cleared west side
Posted by: thebigham Posted on: Oct 4th, 2015, 9:45pm
Waiting for Nickel Plate #765 to appear before crossing the Letchworth High Bridge at Letchworth St Park
 
The trees on this side of the bridge have been cleared for construction of a new bridge.
 
Photographed by Chris Bigham, August 2, 2015.
Posted by: thebigham Posted on: Oct 28th, 2015, 9:57pm
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.”
Posted by: thebigham Posted on: Dec 12th, 2015, 11:57am
The Portageville entrance and the road under the railroad bridge will closed on December 17. Dynamiting to start immediately for the new bridge. Expected to reopen in 2018...
Posted by: George_Harris Posted on: Dec 12th, 2015, 2:19pm
on Dec 12th, 2015, 11:57am, thebigham wrote:       (Click here for original message)
The Portageville entrance and the road under the railroad bridge will closed on December 17. Dynamiting to start immediately for the new bridge. Expected to reopen in 2018...

Glad to have someone in the area keeping up with what is going on.
Posted by: George_Harris Posted on: Dec 15th, 2015, 1:06pm
duplicateon 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?
Posted by: ClydeDET Posted on: Dec 15th, 2015, 10:21pm
on Dec 15th, 2015, 1:06pm, George_Harris wrote:       (Click here for original message)
duplicate
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  
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 keep the railroad in operation during the construction period.
 
(Aren't panic inducing eye catching headlines the way the news vendors propaganda mongers attract attention?)

 
Well, tried to bold part of the quote (last paragraph), but seemingly couldn't. But the answer is "Yes"...
Posted by: thebigham Posted on: Jan 13th, 2016, 1:53pm
^^I called the author of that article and told him his article was all wrong. He did eventually chnage the headline.
 
I went over on Dec. 15th and took pics of the area that will be closed for the next 3 years.
 
The bridge...
Posted by: thebigham Posted on: Jan 13th, 2016, 1:55pm
A small underpass under the NS main on Trail 2. This trail is now closed in this area.
Posted by: thebigham Posted on: Jan 13th, 2016, 1:56pm
The original Erie alignment that used to lead to the bridge
Posted by: thebigham Posted on: Jan 13th, 2016, 1:59pm
^I turned around from that view and took this pic.
 
The new bridge will be straight ahead.
Posted by: George_Harris Posted on: Sep 22nd, 2016, 11:31pm
Searching for information on progress on the replacement structure and found this:
http://www.workzonecam.com/projects/americanbridge/portageville/workzonecam
apparently a set camera with time lapse photography beginning with March 16,2016 and carrying through till today (Sept 22)  There is more than one shot in any given day but I had difficulty getting off 6:00am shots, which by this time of year is dark there.  Now that I know about this site I will haunt it fairly regularly.
 
Looks like things are moving along well.  Concrete being placed on the side near the camera, which is on the east end of the bridge, and excavation for abutment appears to be done on the west side.
 
on Jan 13th, 2016, 1:56pm, thebigham wrote:       (Click here for original message)
The original Erie alignment that used to lead to the bridge

Not exactly a speedy response, but yes, this was the line west of the bridge when originally built.  It went over the hill and was replaced later by the current line which goes around it.  Would have been nice to have seen this horizontal alignment restored with a better profile which would be economically achievable with mechanized excavating equipment as opposed to the pick and shovel with mule hauled wagons that was what they had when the original was built.  The current west end of bridge curve limits speed to 30 to 35 mph, which was of no significance with the current bridge but will be the determining factor for speed with the replacement structure.
Posted by: el3625 Posted on: Oct 9th, 2016, 11:42am
I have been watching the workzone cam and now a message comes up that they want you to register into your account to view. What do you have to do, buy a camera? Was it the construction company that put the cabosh on the viewing? What a shame, cannot view probably because someone is getting something free. I hope I am wrong, but now I cannot watch anymore without registering into "my account". What's the big deal?
Posted by: George_Harris Posted on: Oct 9th, 2016, 6:21pm
on Oct 9th, 2016, 11:42am, el3625 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I have been watching the workzone cam and now a message comes up that they want you to register into your account to view. What do you have to do, buy a camera? Was it the construction company that put the cabosh on the viewing? What a shame, cannot view probably because someone is getting something free. I hope I am wrong, but now I cannot watch anymore without registering into "my account". What's the big deal?  

I ran into the same thing the last couple of times I tried.  Don't even know how you set up an account.
Posted by: thebigham Posted on: Nov 7th, 2016, 1:21pm
Norfolk Southern: Portageville, NY
 
The Portageville bridge as seen from The Greenway rail trail in Letchworth State Park
 
Photographed by Chris Bigham, July 6, 2016.
Posted by: thebigham Posted on: Jan 27th, 2017, 11:10am
The new bridge is supposed to be open in November.
Posted by: George_Harris Posted on: Mar 27th, 2017, 6:07pm
And here is and article in Railway Track and Structures, dated March 22, 2017 and titled Portageville Bridge Construction Begins.  Actually, it had a few months earlier, but from the picture it appears that they are starting to place the arch steel.  Article appears to be somewhat of a puff piece by the designer, Modjeski and Masters, who are designers of many major structures.  
http://www.rtands.com/index.php/track-maintenance/on-track-maintenance/portageville-bridge-construction-begins.html?channel=285
The picture is of surprisingly poor quality.
Posted by: lt230s Posted on: Apr 5th, 2017, 10:51am
Found on NY DOT website including photos of proposed finished bridge.
https://www.dot.ny.gov/portagevillebridge/photos
Posted by: George_Harris Posted on: May 8th, 2017, 10:10am
Another article with a few pictures:
https://www.bridgeweb.com/Arch-erection-begins-for-Portageville-Bridge/4335
The first picture is that in the RT&S article, but much clearer.  To get an understanding of the scale of this structure, look at the last picture in the article.  This appears to be the end section of one of the arches.  There should be four of these sections, one for each end of each arch.  The reason I think it is the end is the large hole at the right end of the beam.  This I think is the end of the arch pin location.
 
Picture of construction is looking east at the east end of the arch.
Posted by: thebigham Posted on: May 11th, 2017, 8:33pm
New video of the bridge construction site:
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwLYThbQ3W0
Posted by: George_Harris Posted on: May 11th, 2017, 8:50pm
on May 11th, 2017, 8:33pm, thebigham wrote:       (Click here for original message)
New video of the bridge construction site:
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwLYThbQ3W0

 
Thank you.  Thank you.