Governor hails completion of 7 upgraded canal bridges in Orleans County

Posted 23 February 2021 at 11:09 am

$10.7 million project improves traffic flow in canal towns

Photo by Tom Rivers: Traffic passes over the Gaines Basin Road canal bridge on Nov. 26, 2020. The bridge reopened after a major rehabilitation, one of seven canal bridges that were upgraded as part of a $10.7 million initiative by the state Department of Transportation. The Gaines Basin bridge was closed for about six months for the construction work.

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office

Governor Cuomo today announced the completion of a $10.7 million project to rehabilitate seven historic single-lane bridges across the Erie Canal in the towns of Murray, Albion, Gaines, Ridgeway and the Village of Medina.

The state Department of Transportation replaced the steel flooring and raised the legal weight limit on all seven 100-year old truss bridges to allow farm equipment, trucks and other commercial vehicles to safely pass while simultaneously improving the flow of both people and commerce throughout the region.

The historic project builds on the regional Finger Lakes Forward initiative, which has already invested over $8 billion to revitalize communities and facilitate commerce along the Erie Canal and the surrounding region.

“New York has made unprecedented investments to upgrade the state’s infrastructure to increase public safety while boosting economic activity along the Erie Canal,” Governor Cuomo said. “The historic Erie Canal is critical for doing business in the region and we’re proud to honor the Canal’s commercial legacy by bringing these bridges into the 21st century. This project will ensure that locals and visitors alike get where they need to go quickly and safely.”

Construction on the project began in December 2018 and has included repairs to the structures and installation of high-strength galvanized steel to replace steel flooring systems and truss elements of the bridges. Each bridge also received a fresh coat of paint. Work took place at the following locations:

  • Bennetts Corners Road, between Route 31 and Gulf Road, in the Town of Murray.
  • Telegraph Road, between Route 237 and Groth Road, in the Town of Murray.
  • Transit Road, between Route 31 and West Brockville Road, in the Town of Murray.
  • Densmore Road, north of Route 31, in the Town of Albion.
  • Gaines Basin Road, between Albion Eagle Harbor Road and West Bacon Road, in the Town of Gaines.
  • Bates Road, between Telegraph Road and Portage Road, in the Village of Medina.
  • Marshall Road, between Route 31 and School Road, in the Town of Ridgeway.

Orleans County Legislature Chairwoman Lynne Johnson said, “The residents of Orleans County are very grateful to Governor Cuomo and the NYSDOT for providing the funding to complete seven Erie Canal Bridge rehabilitation projects. After two years of construction efforts we now have safe and reliable access over the canal for our emergency services, commuters, and farmers. These bridges not only are a part of our rich heritage, but provide vital connections to our local businesses and residents. Investing in infrastructure is an easy thing to ignore, and you don’t know it’s too late until you are in crisis mode. It’s great to see this kind of investment paying dividends in developing reliable infrastructure that will keep our economy strong.”

New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, “The Erie Canal is a treasured part of the history of New York State and continues to play a vital role in sustaining the economic health and well-being of the Finger Lakes Region. The rehabilitation of these bridges demonstrates our commitment to improving the canal’s infrastructure to meet the needs of a 21st century economy while still respecting the important role the canal and the bridges have played in the history of not only the region but also the entire state and nation.”

New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton said, “The rehabilitation of these seven iconic bridges over the Erie Canal is another example of Governor Cuomo’s continued investment in canalside communities that ensures these vital crossings continue to support the economic needs of the region. The Canal Corporation is proud to collaborate with the Department of Transportation on this project as it greatly improves the safety for all vehicles, including local farming equipment and emergency responders, crossing over the bridges and for the boats passing underneath on the canal.”