Last week we explored some of the caves in Rochester’s Genesee River gorge. While digging around for information about Lower Falls, I came across some great stuff on the nearby Driving Park Bridge. The bridge that you know today was built in 1989. But the previous bridge (shown above) had been there for nearly 100 years. That’s pretty remarkable when you consider its length of 717 feet, the icy Rochester weather, and the relentless spray from the Lower Falls below. Be sure to click on the image above for a much larger view. And check out the link at the end of this article to watch the explosive demolition of the old steel bridge in the 1980’s…
I love all the little details in this 1904 photograph. Like the workers hanging out beneath the road deck (shown above). And the mess of power lines winding their way up the gorge walls from the hydroelectric plant (shown below).
Look at how narrow this bridge was. The photo above is looking west towards Driving Park Bridge approach (Avenue E). The road deck was just 20 feet wide with two 7.5 foot wide cantilevered sidewalks on either side.
Although the Driving Park Avenue Bridge was trouble-free for the first 48 years after its construction, it was closed in 1938 to replace the deck. It was closed for repaired again in 1952, 1959 and 1965 and had closed more frequently for repairs in its last twenty years, until finally, it was demolished in the 1980’s
And now, as promised, watch this incredible piece of engineering get blown up and come crashing into the Genesee River, 212 feet below.
Tags: Avenue E, bridge, demolition, Driving Park Bridge, Genesee River, Genesee River Gorge, infrastructure, Lefferts L. Buck, Lower Falls, Niagara Falls Bridge, old photos, old photos of Rochester, Rochester, Rochester NY, Williamsburg Bridge
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