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   Post reply ( Re: Portageville Bridge Update )
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Topic Summary
Posted by: roc Posted on: Mar 21st, 2017, 4:25pm
Portageville Rail Bridge project reaches a milestone
 
Steel construction has begun on the main arch span of the Portageville Rail Bridge that crosses the Genesee River in Letchworth State Park in Portageville, NY.
 
[more]
 
Anyone with pics, Chris?
 
http://www.progressiverailroading.com/mow/news/Portageville-Rail-Bridge-project-reaches-a-milestone--51124
Posted by: thebigham Posted on: Apr 21st, 2017, 1:35pm
I've only seen pics on Facebook.
 
The concrete piers/abutments are done. They are assembling the arch now.
 
It's hard to get pics because the whole area is closed off now. The trails to the Upper falls have been closed for re-construction.
 
Trains should be going over the new bridge in November!
 
The road under the bridge should re-open late 2018.
Posted by: thebigham Posted on: May 11th, 2017, 8:36pm
Video of the new bridge construction:
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwLYThbQ3W0
Posted by: roc Posted on: May 16th, 2017, 8:25am
That's quite a view!
Posted by: thebigham Posted on: Jul 12th, 2017, 10:02am
March 2015
Posted by: thebigham Posted on: Jul 12th, 2017, 10:03am
June 2017
Posted by: thebigham Posted on: Jul 12th, 2017, 10:08am
July 2017
 
Taken with a drone. Pic posted on Facebook.  
 
On the left, part the park road has been removed. The new parking lot will be where the current bridge abutment is.
 
On the right, that's the former PRR Rochester branch grade under the bridges. It's the Greenway rail trail and it is closed.
Posted by: roc Posted on: Jul 12th, 2017, 11:13pm
First, you are the man with the pics. Brilliant as always.
 
The new bridge looks like a lot more bridge than the spidery iron and steel of the old one. However, I wonder if the new press-stressed concrete engineering marvel will still be hosting trains in 100-plus years?
Posted by: George_Harris Posted on: Jul 13th, 2017, 1:13am
Roc, you concerns are unfounded.  At 100 years this new bridge should be barely broke in good.  It is unlikely that the current axle loads will get much above where they are now, which is in the 286,000 to 315,000 pound load for a four axle car.  The curren E80 design standard is for 80,000 pounds per axle, while 315,000 pounds for a four axle car is 78,750 pounds per axle, and this 80,000 pound per axle design is before all safety factors, impact factors, etc are added.  The current bridge has been functionally obsolete for many years, and has been kept usable by an intensive inspection and maintenance program couple with severe operating restrictions.
 
By the way, this is a steel arch bridge.  The only concrete is in the piers and deck.  It appears that this will be a ballasted deck bridge instead of an open deck, as well.
 
Even with the end of restraints on loading and speeds, the speed will not be much if any over 35 mph due to the curve just off the west end of the bridge.
Posted by: Matthew_L Posted on: Jul 13th, 2017, 7:45pm
IIRC, NS has stated the seed limit for the new bridge will be 30 mph. While it's not 50 mph (the norm for the rest of the line), the 30 mph seed limit will be a reat improvement over the current 10 mph speed limit.
Posted by: roc Posted on: Jul 13th, 2017, 9:44pm
on Jul 13th, 2017, 1:13am, George_Harris wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Roc, you concerns are unfounded.  At 100 years this new bridge should be barely broke in good.  It is unlikely that the current axle loads will get much above where they are now, which is in the 286,000 to 315,000 pound load for a four axle car.  The curren E80 design standard is for 80,000 pounds per axle, while 315,000 pounds for a four axle car is 78,750 pounds per axle, and this 80,000 pound per axle design is before all safety factors, impact factors, etc are added.  The current bridge has been functionally obsolete for many years, and has been kept usable by an intensive inspection and maintenance program couple with severe operating restrictions.
 
By the way, this is a steel arch bridge.  The only concrete is in the piers and deck.  It appears that this will be a ballasted deck bridge instead of an open deck, as well.
 
Even with the end of restraints on loading and speeds, the speed will not be much if any over 35 mph due to the curve just off the west end of the bridge.

 
Not so much concerned as skeptical. I've lived long enough to see many interstate and urban bridges replaced, some more than once. Yes, in general, railroad bridges tend to last "forever." That is, sometimes even washouts get shoved back into place, reinforced, and serve on.
 
I appreciate the education on the new bridge's specs, etc. My favorite word pairings are "I don't know," and "That's cool!"
 
Thanks for bringing the cool.
Posted by: centercab Posted on: Jul 13th, 2017, 11:23pm
Will the old bridge be left intact and possibly become a "grand lookout" for sightseers at the gorge? Will it remain NS property? If so not likely it will survive.
Posted by: roc Posted on: Jul 14th, 2017, 2:42am
The old bridge will remain as a tourist attraction. A road and parking will be constructed to facilitate access. As noted by Chris, the parking lot will be located on the East (?) abutment/approach of the old bridge.
Posted by: Henry Posted on: Jul 14th, 2017, 3:15am
on Jul 14th, 2017, 2:42am, roc wrote:       (Click here for original message)
The old bridge will remain as a tourist attraction. A road and parking will be constructed to facilitate access. As noted by Chris, the parking lot will be located on the East (?) abutment/approach of the old bridge.

Is that a 100% done deal? I threw my dad's ashes off of that bridge back in July of '97 so it is very important to me.
 
Henry
Posted by: roc Posted on: Jul 14th, 2017, 4:44pm
on Jul 14th, 2017, 3:15am, Henry wrote:       (Click here for original message)

Is that a 100% done deal? I threw my dad's ashes off of that bridge back in July of '97 so it is very important to me.
 
Henry

 
I dug for about a half an hour and couldn't find a forum post or news story saying the old bridge would remain. I did, however, find multiple references to plans to remove the old bridge once the new arch span bridge is completed.
 
I remember reading it would be kept. However, without proof, my claim should be taken with a full covered hopper of salt. Perhaps a unit train of NaCl would be a more proportioned measure…
Posted by: George_Harris Posted on: Jul 14th, 2017, 11:07pm
Keeping the old bridge?
There was quite a bit of discussion on that a couple of years ago, but it appears that it will be coming down.  All those that thought that keeping it and converting it to a walkway was a wonderful idea and should happen kept their hands firmly in pocket when asked to put some money where their mouth was.  My understanding was that NS would have been happy to have sold it, and I think for little if any more than the net scrap value if there is any, but no way would they have been willing to let it remain in place under their ownership.  Think of the liability they would have if anyone fell off it if walking on it was considered allowable.  Also, at one time New York was known as having the highest or near highest taxes on railroad property.   This would also help explain the rapid dissapearance of many stations and other railroad facilities as they ceased to be used and could not be easily sold.  Never forget the old saying, "The power to tax is the power to destroy."
Posted by: roc Posted on: Jul 16th, 2017, 3:07pm
"The power to tax is the power to destroy."
 
Oh really? The countries with the happiest people, that live the longest lives, are most satisfied with their lives, that smoke and drink more than we do, eat fattier foods, with higher levels of upward (and downward) mobility, that get universal world class single-payer healthcare and education, with long paid vacation time they actually utilize are those of Northern Europe where taxes are "high" (ie working from the assumption that all of the chart topping life satisfaction they enjoy is of low or no value).
 
Moreover, if you're going to quote Daniel Webster, at least get it right, "An UNLIMITED power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy; because there is a limit beyond which no institution and no property can bear taxation."
 
Notice the emphasis added, all important qualifying adjective, "unlimited."
Posted by: railwatcher Posted on: Jul 16th, 2017, 10:07pm
The topic is the bridge, that is not part of the LA&L family of railroads.  We keep this live here due its close proximity and the added discussion of the WNYP being used for a reroute choice for the southern tier line.  We will keep on topic, thank you.  All politics aside.
Posted by: George_Harris Posted on: Jul 17th, 2017, 2:59pm
Two things:
 
To roc:  Do not underatand what caused you to take offense at my abbreviated quote of the statement on taxation, and I would like to mention that the misquote as you call it is frequently the way it is stated.  There was certainly no intent to raise any political issues, and I try to avoid any discussion of things political here.
 
To all, There is a thread on this bridge, which is on the ex-Erie Railroad mainline, which is now a NS mainline across New York State.  The thread, which is now on its fourth page can be found under:
Physical Plant - Track, Structures, and Signals
Railroad Infranstructure
Portageville High Bridge Replacement? Letchworth Park, NY
 
http://forums.railfan.net/forums.cgi?board=Infrastructure;action=display;num=1287381338;start=60
Posted by: Henry Posted on: Jul 17th, 2017, 3:31pm
I had no problem with George saying "The power to tax is the power to destroy" as it is precisely the reason we have lost countless historic RR buildings. As far as politics goes, we certainly didn't need to be chastised with a blast of propaganda that would have made Karl Marx proud.
 
Henry
Posted by: HwyHaulier Posted on: Jul 18th, 2017, 1:42pm
Henry - Lodge Members - Et Al -
 
Which, in this instance, your writer respects the commonplace Employee Rule Book. It counseled, among other issues:  
Respect the third rail! Also, on the old PENN, a Rule that one should avoid contact with the catenary!
 
So it goes. Your writer seasoned enough with past sightings of the long gone, green ERIE passenger schedules traveling  
the NY Southern Tier...
 
..............  Vern  ................
Posted by: roc Posted on: Jul 20th, 2017, 5:42am
Actually, in this case, the third rail when the rule breaker in the first instance stepped on it wasn't energized. In the name of rail heritage preservation and quoting an actual founding father (ie double quotes), rather than incorrectly single quoting, the person in the second instance sent some current…
 
Snore.
Posted by: thebigham Posted on: Jul 24th, 2017, 2:24pm
The old bridge is being torn down. Too much liability for the park and NYS.
 
This will be the new view.
Posted by: roc Posted on: Jul 25th, 2017, 11:08pm
Will change the view for the better.
Posted by: George_Harris Posted on: Jul 31st, 2017, 9:45pm
on Jul 13th, 2017, 7:45pm, Matthew_L wrote:       (Click here for original message)
IIRC, NS has stated the speed limit for the new bridge will be 30 mph. While it's not 50 mph (the norm for the rest of the line), the 30 mph seed limit will be a reat improvement over the current 10 mph speed limit.

Found a track chart for this line at the following:
http://www.multimodalways.org/docs/railroads/companies/CR/CR%20Track%20Charts/CR%20Albany%20Track%20Chart%201996.pdf
The specific location is page 142 of the file, page number shown is 102, mileposts 360 to 370, the current speed limit for the line is 50 mph where not otherwise restricted and 30 mph each side of the bridge and 10 mph on the bridge itself.  Curves adjacent to the bridge are shown as 2 degrees 15 minutes east of the bridge and 7 degrees west of the bridge.  It appears that the 30 mph limit is through these curves.  
 
For information, the balancing superelevation at 30 mph would be:
(This is using the normal formuly, SE = 0.0007 * degree of curve * speed^2)
For 2d15m, balancing SE= 1.42 inches
For 7 degree, balancing SE = 4.41 inches
Converting degrees of curve to radius:  
2d15m = 2546.64 feet
7deg = 819.02 feet
Posted by: Henry Posted on: Jul 31st, 2017, 11:59pm
Here is the above referenced track chart page from 1996. The speeds for the bridge are near the right side of the long rectangle. I actually downloaded a whole pile of CR track charts back in 2009.
Posted by: centercab Posted on: Aug 9th, 2017, 9:48pm
on Jul 25th, 2017, 11:08pm, roc wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Will change the view for the better.

Agree. Old bridge would become "clutter" as per the bighams projected view of new structure. Progress in this case is good, new  bridge is elegant
Posted by: roc Posted on: Aug 16th, 2017, 2:53am
on Aug 9th, 2017, 9:48pm, centercab wrote:       (Click here for original message)

Agree. Old bridge would become "clutter" as per the bighams projected view of new structure. Progress in this case is good, new  bridge is elegant

 
The Kinzua Viaduct tragedy also comes to mind. That said, perhaps a truncated section of the bridge. That, however, would take major bucks that would be better spent on road maintenance (no new roads please) and transit.
Posted by: centercab Posted on: Aug 16th, 2017, 7:47pm
Major bucks aside, I remember the complete Kinzua  Bridge, walked it several times. Historically even the remains have are significant but honestly it's only a shadow of it's former self.
Posted by: roc Posted on: Aug 17th, 2017, 3:53pm
on Aug 16th, 2017, 7:47pm, centercab wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Major bucks aside, I remember the complete Kinzua  Bridge, walked it several times. Historically even the remains have are significant but honestly it's only a shadow of it's former self.

 
Walked it with the family back before the K&K and then rode over it with Grandpa from Marienville and back. From Kane would have been fine  
Posted by: thebigham Posted on: Aug 26th, 2017, 10:17am
Let's try these NS pics again
Posted by: thebigham Posted on: Aug 26th, 2017, 10:19am
Let's try these NS pics again
Posted by: roc Posted on: Aug 26th, 2017, 11:09pm
Simply amazing. Compared to the spindly legged old girl, which lasted well over 100 years, the new bridge looks like it could last at least twice as long.
 
That said, it took less than two months to build the original metal bridge — no labor laws, let alone unions or OSHA.  
 
For what it's worth, the original wooden bridge took roughly 13 months to construct. Apparently, construction of the approaches, abutments, and piers are the difference.
 
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portage_Viaduct#Current_Portageville_Viaduct
Posted by: George_Harris Posted on: Aug 27th, 2017, 6:41pm
on Aug 26th, 2017, 11:09pm, roc wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Simply amazing. Compared to the spindly legged old girl, which lasted well over 100 years, the new bridge looks like it could last at least twice as long.

But for the last 30 to 50 years of this life, keeping the existing bridge usable required operating restrictions both speed and weight, and careful and frequent, and in the last quite a few years, near continuous inspection and maintenance.  Speed of construction of the current steel bridge was fast because, first it was built on the foundations of the preceeding wood bridge and with the urgency of getting the line back in service quickly even if not the most efficient and economical way both in materials and manpower.
Posted by: thebigham Posted on: Aug 28th, 2017, 10:26am
John Kucko picture
Posted by: centercab Posted on: Sep 3rd, 2017, 8:43pm
" it was built on the foundations of the preceeding wood bridge"
Can you imagine what those original wood bridge builders would have thought if told their work would be put to use 100+ years in the future? I guess that's what is called a lasting legacy!
Posted by: towny72 Posted on: Sep 4th, 2017, 10:31am
Thank you for posting progress photos.  
 
Politics and history aside this is a very impressive build. I see a lot of "small" spans being replaced around the NS system but nothing to this magnitude.  
 
 
As always those willing to do the leg work to document such events are appreciated.
Posted by: thebigham Posted on: Sep 12th, 2017, 1:59pm
John Kucko picture
Posted by: thebigham Posted on: Sep 26th, 2017, 6:47pm
Eagle One Photography
Posted by: thebigham Posted on: Oct 6th, 2017, 7:57pm
Taken today, Oct. 6th
Posted by: centercab Posted on: Oct 8th, 2017, 2:16pm
Has NS given any recent predictions as to when the new bridge will be open for business?
Posted by: thebigham Posted on: Oct 11th, 2017, 10:37am
^This December!
Posted by: thebigham Posted on: Oct 18th, 2017, 1:15pm
John Kucko pic
Posted by: towny72 Posted on: Oct 18th, 2017, 5:53pm
Nice!
 
What a difference a year makes...
Posted by: thebigham Posted on: Oct 21st, 2017, 9:40pm
Ben Clark photo
Posted by: thebigham Posted on: Oct 21st, 2017, 9:41pm
Ben Clark photo
Posted by: thebigham Posted on: Oct 21st, 2017, 9:43pm
Ben Clark photo