State sets Nov. 14 for closing of Albion Main Street bridge

Photo by Tom Rivers: The Albion Main Street bridge, shown this morning, will close to traffic in two weeks. It is expected to be closed for about 18 months for a major rehab of the bridge from 1914.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 November 2022 at 12:14 pm

Press Release, NYS Department of Transportation

ALBION – New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez today announced that work is slated to begin Monday, November 14 on a project to rehabilitate the State Route 98 lift bridge over the Erie Canal in the Village of Albion, Orleans County.

The project will modernize and extend the lifespan of this important structure, which was built in 1914, and enhance safety and resiliency along a vital travel route to the Village of Albion’s bustling business corridor and the vibrant tourism scene along the Erie Canal. State Route 98, which is also known as North Main Street in the village, also serves as an important conduit for the region’s agricultural products.

“The Erie Canal embodies the perseverance, innovation and ingenuity of New Yorkers and it’s important that our iconic canal bridges continue to reflect our history and serve our communities,” said Commissioner Dominguez. “That is why Governor Hochul and New York State DOT are making this critical investment into the State Route 98 bridge – an investment that will help ensure the long-term vitality of the region’s economy and the entire Albion community without compromising the bridge’s beloved character.”

Work on the bridge is part of a larger $28.3 million project that will also rehabilitate the State Route 19 Bridge over the Erie Canal in the Village of Brockport, which is slated for closure in April 2023. It also builds on NYSDOT’s prior success in modernizing and preserving the iconic structures along the canal, which includes a recently completed, $16.9 million project that rehabilitated similar bridges in the villages of Fairport and Spencerport.

The State Route 98 steel truss bridge serves as an important component to the historic Erie Canal, which is a registered National Historic Landmark. As part of the Canal, the bridge benefits from historical protections that ensure the bridge continues to look as it did early in the 20th century with its trusses and lift towers preserved. This project, will extend the bridge’s service life and better support motorists for a 21st century economy by:

  • Replacing bridge decks and portions of the truss system with high-strength, galvanized steel.
  • Modernizing mechanical and electrical components within the bridge’s lifting system.
  • Rehabilitating the bridge towers.
  • Installing new bridge rails.
  • Repainting the bridge, maintaining its current shade of green.

During construction, the bridge will be dismantled with individual trusses lifted and placed in the lot adjacent to the Canal, where the rehabilitation work will occur. When work is complete, it will be moved back into place over the Canal.

Due to the nature of this work, the roadway will be closed to motorists and pedestrians for roughly 18 months. A signed detour will be in place utilizing State Routes 31, 387 (Fancher Road), and 104 (Ridge Road). The Erie Canal Trailway will remain open for the duration of the project.

New York State Senate Minority Leader Robert Ortt said: “The Erie Canal and the bridges our residents use to traverse it are not only important parts of our regional history but are necessary components of residents’ daily commutes. The rehabilitation of the State Route 98 lift bridge and State Route 19 Bridge will ensure that the culturally significant components of our communities will continue to operate safely while remaining a viable method of transport for future generations. I welcome this $28.3 million investment by the NYS Department of Transportation and look forward to the project’s timely completion.”

Assemblyman Steve Hawley said: “The State Department of Transportation has been working hard to create safer and more efficient transit for individuals, emergency vehicles, school buses, businesses, and agriculture vehicles. We will be working closely with NYSDOT to assure this major project is completed as smoothly as possible.”

Village of Albion Mayor Angel Javier Jr. said: “Businesses and residents are eagerly waiting for the start and completion of the project. They are looking forward to a updated bridge that serves the community in the safest capacity. During this time the Village will work with local organizations to highlight the historic nature of the bridge through education, as well as planning activities in the space south of the bridge.”

New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton said: “The Canal Corporation is proud to collaborate with the Department of Transportation on this project as it rehabilitates a critical crossing over the Erie Canal within the Village of Albion and reinforces Governor Hochul’s commitment to investing in infrastructure, so it remains safe and reliable for generations to come. Lift bridges are iconic structures over the canal in Monroe, Orleans, and Niagara counties that connect canalside communities over the historic waterway and this work will improve safety for drivers, pedestrians, and boaters.”