Rochester Subway
Subscribe for Email UpdatesBecome a Facebook FanFollow Us on TwitterRSS Feed Rochester History + New Ideas. Fresh from the Rochester Subway.

Topics


Rochester Subway Gift Shop


¤ Visit the Gift Shop
¤ See Combo Deals & Offers


Modern Rochester Subway Map


Modern Rochester Subway Map

¤ View Details

 | 

Add To Cart


Modern Rochester Subway Map


City of Rochester, New York

¤ View Details

 | 

Add To Cart


Rochester Neighborhoods Map

Rochester Neighborhoods Map

¤ View Details

 | 

Add To Cart


Rochester Subway Map, 1928


1928 Rochester Subway Map

¤ View Details

 | 

Add To Cart


Rochester Subway DVD

The End of the Line - Rochester’s Subway (DVD)

¤ View Details

 | 

Add To Cart


Rochester Landmarks Poster

Rochester Landmarks Poster

¤ View Details

 | 

Add To Cart


Work in Rochester

Work in Rochester

¤ View Details
¤ Buy from Amazon


Original Streetart by SPACEMAN

Original Streetart by SPACEMAN

¤ View All Spaceman Art


Old Rochester Photos<br>and Historical Views

Old Rochester Photos
and Historical Views

(Framed Reprints Available)

¤ View All Rochester Photos


Rochester Subway Cap

Embroidered Subway Cap

¤ View Details


Rochester Subway T-Shirt

Rochester Subway T-Shirt

¤ View Details


Rochester Subway Token T-Shirt

RTC Token T-Shirt

¤ View Details


Rochester RTC Token

RTC Token (1948)

¤ View Details

 | 

SOLD OUT


Roch. & Brighton Token

Roch. & Brighton Token
(1887-90)

¤ View Details

 | 

Add To Cart


Rochester Railway Co. Token

Rochester Railway Co. Token (1900-09)

¤ View Details

 | 

SOLD OUT


Rochester School Fare Token

School Fare Token (1948)

¤ View Details

 | 

Add To Cart


Rochester NYS Railways Token

NYS Railways Token (1909-38)

¤ View Details

 | 

Add To Cart


Rochester Subway Poster + DVD Combo

Rochester Subway
Poster + DVD Combo

¤ 

Add To Cart

 (Save 10%)


Rochester Subway Vintage Postcard

Vintage Postcard (1941),
Rochester Rail Equipment

¤ View Details

 | 

Order Reprint

¤ See All Vintage Postcards


Rochester Subway Vintage Postcard

Vintage Postcard (1938),
Subway & Broad Street

¤ View Details

 | 

Order Reprint

¤ See All Vintage Postcards


Rochester Subway Vintage Postcard

Vintage Postcard (1942),
Rochester City Hall & Subway

¤ View Details

 | 

Order Reprint

¤ See All Vintage Postcards


Rochester Subway Vintage Postcard

Vintage Postcard (c.1912),
Rochester’s Four Corners

¤ View Details

 | 

Order Reprint

¤ See All Vintage Postcards


Rochester Subway Vintage Postcard

Vintage Postcard (c.1905),
Erie Canal Aqueduct

¤ View Details

 | 

Order Reprint

¤ See All Vintage Postcards


Rochester Subway Vintage Postcard

Vintage Postcard (c.1928),
South Entrance to Subway

¤ View Details

 | 

Order Reprint

¤ See All Vintage Postcards


Rochester Subway + Trolley Transit Passes

Original Subway, Trolley,
and Bus Weekly Transit Passes

¤ View All Transit Passes





Save the Letchworth Park Rail Bridge

February 16th, 2016

Portageville rail bridge at Letchworth State Park, NY. [IMAGE: Richard H. Jordan III]
The following is a guest post submitted by Richard H. Jordan III.
Submit your story today.

Letchworth Bridge in southern Letchworth State Park celebrates its 141st birthday this year (built 1875) and will be replaced external link by a new steel arch bridge about 75 feet to the south. The new bridge will take approximately 3 years to complete. During that time efforts will be made to turn the original bridge into a pedestrian walkway similar to the hugely successful Poughkeepsie NY bridge crossing the Hudson River and gorge—now a New York State Park…

Portageville rail bridge at Letchworth State Park, NY. [IMAGE: Richard H. Jordan III]
The current Letchworth bridge is steeped in history. The Genesee Canal ran under it; veterans of the Civil War helped construct it; the bridge replaced the biggest wood trestle ever built (based on board feet); just to name a few interesting facts. And there are many more.

Portageville rail bridge at Letchworth State Park, NY. [IMAGE: Richard H. Jordan III]
Opponents cite that the two bridges will not compliment each other and the view upstream to the south will be compromised and the cost of maintenance will be too much for Letchworth State Park to pay for. I say the view is not OF the bridge(s) but ON the bridge.

[ See renderings of the bridges; new and old external link ]

Portageville rail bridge at Letchworth State Park, NY. [IMAGE: Richard H. Jordan III]
The view to the north is truly awesome, some 240 feet over the Genesee River on top of an 80 foot water fall replete with a rainbow on sunny days surrounded by the natural beauty of this location.

As you look farther north you can see the river drop down another set of falls and curve to the west under 500 foot cliffs. THIS is the view.

Portageville rail bridge at Letchworth State Park, NY. [IMAGE: Richard H. Jordan III]
Using the old span as a walkway will keep people off of the new arch bridge. (Just about everyone who has visited this part of the park has trespassed on the current bridge).

Portageville rail bridge at Letchworth State Park, NY. [IMAGE: Richard H. Jordan III]
In terms of cost I believe that the 71 million dollar price tag should include the approximately 2 million dollars to turn the existing bridge into a safe pedestrian walkway — considering that a considerable chunk of that 71 million will come from public monies. An engineering study has already been done by the same firm that did the Poughkeepsie NY bridge (Bergmann Associates).

Portageville rail bridge at Letchworth State Park, NY. [IMAGE: Richard H. Jordan III]
Also, the cost of inspection and maintenance will not be as much as Norfolk Southern pays yearly considering that the yearly weight of tourists pales in comparison to weight of 5-10 freight trains crossing in a 24 hour period — one train weighs about 10,000 tons.

A fund could also be set up to help Letchworth State Park pay for the routine inspections. Norfolk Southern has already agreed to give the bridge to the park. Dismantling of the old bridge will cost about as much as preserving it.

[ Bill S2694 external link, introduced by Patrick Gallivan to transfer ownership of the bridge to the park, is currently sitting in the NY Senate. ]

Portageville rail bridge at Letchworth State Park, NY. [IMAGE: Richard H. Jordan III]
Letchworth State Park just got voted the best state park in the USA external link by USA TODAY. Let us use this national traction to get this project moving. Let your voice be heard and tell your elected officials external link that this is important for National History and important for the people of Western NY State.

Save this bridge.

• • •

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 16th, 2016 at 4:42 pm and is filed under Architecture, Opinion, Rochester Destinations, Rochester History, Rochester Images, Rochester Subway Stories, Train/Railroad Stuff, Transit + Infrastructure. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

6 Responses to “Save the Letchworth Park Rail Bridge”

  1. Ben says:

    If people wanted a walkway over the gorge to remain, why wasn’t one just included on the new bridge? I think having both would look really weird there.

  2. Chris says:

    Norfolk-Southern, due to legal and insurance issues, did not want a walk way on the new bridge.
    Even though there is a Bill in the Senate the Parks Department is on record saying it does not want the old bridge as a ped walkway. They have officially refused it for various reasons, one being funding; especially in the long term.
    There would have to be serious changes to the infrastructure of the park itself to allow for trails etc. accommodating the use of the old rail bridge for pedestrians. Not to mention changes to the bridge itself to allow for peds.

    I was on the team the progressed the EIS and Section 106 process. The Parks Department had 5 years to determine if they wanted it and they determined they did not. The public had over 4 years to weigh in on this issue through many public meetings and outreach. A little surprising this is now becoming an issue. The Bridge could have used the support 4 years ago!

    The bridge was also offered to a few historic bridge groups across the north east for assistance in funding and support. They declined.

    Personally I would have loved the bridge to be saved, but the reality of the costs both present and future prevented the Parks Dept and other entities from pursing keeping it.

  3. Michael says:

    umm…I believe this is PERFECT candidate for Rails to Trails

  4. Chris Chiesa says:

    I am apparently the only person who has NEVER illegally walked on the old bridge — I’ve only ever seen it from below and in aerial photos — oh, and that one hot-air balloon ride — and I find myself with mixed feelings.

    First, the only thing that makes the presence of a railroad bridge tolerable at all, in that otherwise pristine place, is the fact that it *is* 150 years old and thus brings some rustic charm to the scene. A brand new bridge had better be designed very carefully indeed, if it is not to ruin the classic atmosphere of the Letchworth gorge. Anything the least bit “modern” will be absolutely the wrong thing. Ideally, I’d like to see the entire railroad rerouted to avoid the gorge-and-park entirely. But *that’s* not going to happen.

    The next worst thing would be to have *two* bridges, whether the old one is preserved as a walkway or “just for looks/sentiment.” That is the first step on the slippery slope toward proliferation of exploitation, which would be a real shame after it took a hundred years to recover from the first time, when the entire area was logged bare and all the trees had to be replanted. I don’t want to go to Letchworth twenty years from now and find the gorge filled with McDonalds, gas stations, and strip malls.

    So, in my opinion, the old bridge should be either refurbished by replacing each piece with an exact replica of modern materials and strength, or removed entirety and outright replaced by a new bridge that replicates its style as closely as possible.

    One important thing that should be officially recognized is that, whether an official pedestrian walkway is provided or not *people are going to walk on whatever bridge is there,* just as *they already do*. It’s human nature to want to see that view, and it’s the American spirit to defy rules and signs that say “you’re not allowed.” We are The People — as in “We The People” — and in our hearts that’s *our* bridge over *our* gorge, for looking at *our* view. So, whatever decision is made, it should acknowledge this reality and accomodate it as safely as possible. If Norfolk-Southern would commit to including a walkway in the new bridge, and just eating the insurance costs, on the grounds that “it’s the Right Thing To Do” — which it *is* — they might just get some goodwill and business mileage out of being heroes to the American people. “We hear you.” “This view’s for you.” Any ad agency worth its fees should be able to spin up a big PR win from such a choice.

  5. Richard H. Jordan III says:

    I contacted Senator Rich Funke and his office transferred me to Senator Gallivan’s office, the following is the response I received.

    Good Afternoon Mr. Jordan – As you are our constituent, Senator Funke’s office referred your email to us. Senator Gallivan is familiar with the concept of a pedestrian walkway with the new bridge being constructed at beautiful Letchworth State Park. As it has not yet come to a vote, he is doing what he does with all matters that he is responsible for and researching all sides of the issue. He will be made aware of your support of this walkway.

    Please feel free to contact me directly should you wish to discuss this further.

    Annie Chwiecko
    Livingston and Monroe Counties Community Representative

    Senator Patrick M. Gallivan
    59th Senate District
    Livingston County Government Center
    6 Court Street
    Geneseo, NY 14454
    ~and~
    900 Jefferson Road
    Rochester, NY 14623
    Anniefc@aol.com
    Chwiecko@nysenate.gov
    (C) 585.746.2807

    So the vote has not been taken yet and there is still a good chance we can have a pedestrian walkway. Use the above contact to let your voice be heard.

  6. E.E.Mort says:

    I think two bridges will be an eyesore in the end. The footers for the old bridge are solid – and there is already (hehe, or was) a steel grating catwalk that ran the span between the footers. What if that tear down the old bridge but have an official trail running across the footers of the bridge – it would mean amazing views for those that have never been down there. It would easily connect with the FLT on the east side to the more formal high falls trail on the west side. They would not have the large, aging iron structure to maintain that way. A river level trail seems far more attractive than a hill top level one…


Post a Comment...



  Most Popular...
  1. Pot Holds Bowie in Rochester
    (views: 29,836)
  2. Inside Rochester’s Terrence Tower
    (views: 23,030)
  3. Inside Abandoned Medley Centre (a.k.a Irondequoit Mall)
    (views: 20,995)
  4. Abandoned Glass House
    (views: 11,933)
  5. Deep Inside Rochester’s Big Old Sibley Building
    (views: 11,894)
  6. The Best Holiday Light Displays in Rochester v1.0
    (views: 11,290)
  7. Inside Rochester’s Abandoned Walters Psychiatric Building
    (views: 10,872)
  8. Abandoned Girl Scout Camp Beech-Wood
    (views: 10,116)
  9. University of Rochester’s Lost Swimming Pool
    (views: 9,443)
  10. History of Seabreeze Amusement Park
    (views: 8,131)
  11. Durand Eastman Park and the Lady In White
    (views: 7,780)
  12. Inside the Abandoned Camp Haccamo, Penfield
    (views: 7,528)
  13. Abandoned Theme Park: Frontier Town
    (views: 7,332)
  14. Exploring the Caves of Rochester, NY
    (views: 6,699)
  15. Inside the Abandoned Vacuum Oil Refinery
    (views: 6,418)
  16. Rochester Mafia, the Banana King, and the Infamous “Barrel Murder”
    (views: 5,828)
  17. The Old Barber House
    (views: 5,823)
  18. Inside RG&E Beebee Power Plant – Just Before (and during) Demolition
    (views: 4,728)
  19. Inside 65-67 Chestnut St. – Old Hotel Richford
    (views: 4,660)
  20. Amazing! Virtual Tour of Rochester Subway on Google Street View
    (views: 4,063)

Topics

  • Architecture (63)
  • Art + Culture (116)
  • Events (99)
  • Freebies (9)
  • Interviews (32)
  • Opinion (106)
  • Other (1)
  • Reader Submitted Stories (125)
  • Rochester Apartments (4)
  • Rochester Destinations (97)
  • Rochester Gifts (18)
  • Rochester History (198)
  • Rochester Homes for Sale (6)
  • Rochester Images (207)
  • Rochester News (333)
  • Rochester Subway (50)
  • Rochester Subway Stories (16)
  • Subways Around the Globe (11)
  • Train/Railroad Stuff (46)
  • Transit + Infrastructure (199)
  • Uncategorized (15)
  • Urban Development (258)
  • Urban Exploration (59)

  • Rochester Subway Information

    Get Email Updates...
    Stay up-to-date on Rochester-related stories, artifacts, and ideas that you won't find in the mainstream news. Totally free, never spammy, and you can unsubscribe at any time.


    ¤ See Past Issues
    ¤ Our Privacy Policy

    Links

    Get Involved...

    ¤ Reconnect Rochester

    Related Blogs...

    ¤ A Town Square
    ¤ Moderate Urban Champ
    ¤ Our Tiny Earth
    ¤ The Rochesterian
    ¤ RocVille
    ¤ Rust Wire

    Resources...

    ¤ RochesterDowntown.com
    ¤ Rochester's Public Library
    ¤ ROCwiki



    Want to Advertise
    on RocSubway?
    Drop us a line.


    Other ways to follow RochesterSubway.com...

    Subscribe for Email Updates

    Email

    Become a Facebook Fan

    Facebook

    Follow Us on Twitter

    Twitter

    RSS Feed

    RSS

    Questions + Comments

    For questions about the Rochester Subway Poster or about your order, please email info@rochestersubway.com.

    Want to SAVE Shipping Costs?
    Buy the Subway Posters at these local shops...

    About the Rochester Subway Poster...

    ¤ Black Radish Studio [ ...map it ]
    ¤ Parkleigh [ ...map it ]
    ¤ Poster Art [ ...map it ]
    ¤ Rochester Public Library Store [ ...map it ]

    ¤ Rochester Subway Poster Press Release
    ¤ Article by Otto M. Vondrak
    ¤ Design by Mike Governale

    More About The Rochester Subway

    Help Support...

    ¤ Rochester Subway (Wikipedia)
    ¤ The End of the Line - Rochester's Subway, DVD
    ¤ Abandoned Subway Photos (Opacity.us)
    ¤ Walking the Rails (YouTube Video)

    ¤ Friends of RochesterSubway.com