Bridge replacement over Oak Orchard not expected to interfere with kayakers

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 April 2021 at 2:09 pm

Courtesy of DOT: This map shows where the bridge will be replaced on Route 104 in the Town of Ridgeway.

RIDGEWAY – The upcoming bridge replacement on Route 104 over the Oak Orchard Creek has caused concern for the growing kayaking community.

The Oak orchard has become a very popular spot for kayakers, who pass underneath the bridge over Route 104.

That bridge will be closed to motorists beginning in two weeks on April 26 with an anticipated reopening in early September.

Union Concrete and Construction Corp. of West Seneca is the general contractor on the project. John Olinger, Ridgeway highway superintendent, spoke with Union officials and the company said the Oak Orchard will remain open to kayakers.

“During the project they will have signs and a spotter to direct all river traffic,” Olinger said today. “Union Concrete is the company that is doing the work , and have plenty of safety measures in place so everyone stays safe. They will be working 6 days a week and have Sunday off.”

There will be times when no traffic will be allowed such as when they are removing steel or setting or removing parts of the new or old bridge, said Town Supervisor Brian Napoli.

The state Department of Transportation is overseeing the $2.65 million bridge replacement, which is 80 percent funded by the federal government with the state paying the other 20 percent.

The new bridge will replace one from 1954. The new bridge is a single span multi-girder bridge featuring two 12-foot-wide travel lanes and two 6-foot-wide shoulders. New approaches will also be constructed as part of the project. The new bridge is expected to last at least 75 years.