Saturday, March 25, 2017

NS+CP/Erie 1875 Portage Bridge over Genesee River in Portageville, NY

(Bridge Hunter, Bridge Hunter PreviousHistoric BridgesRail PicturesFacebook Album of 13 PhotosTrainWeb, Progressive RailSatellite, Street View)

Update:

It was built in 1875 to replace a burned 1852 wooden bridge and then rehabilitated in 1903. The wooden bridge was "the longest and highest wooden bridge in the United States." Plans are to replace the trestle with a steel arch bridge. NS offered to donate it to the State Park since a lot of people trespass on it now. But the state agency turned it down because they said they could not afford to preserve it. So NS plans to spend $1m to tear it down. So preservation costs more than $1m?

Existing from NYDOT

Proposed from NYDOT
Copied from a duplicate posting:

Construction activity for its replacement has already started appearing in satellite images.
Satellite
Test Train, photo taken on July 31, 1875, from Bridge Hunter
The original wrought-iron bridge looks so spindly. Obviously the rebuilds with steel in 1903 and more steel in 1944 were extensive.

HAER NY,61-PORT,1--2 from Photos from HAER NY,61-PORT,1-

Norfolk Southern Corp. (source link is broken)
Construction continues on the 900-foot replacement of the Portageville Bridge in Letchworth State Park. The new $70 million steel arch railroad bridge will be the cornerstone of a vibrant Norfolk Southern rail line that helps businesses in Buffalo and the Southern Tier regions connect with markets east and west. NS’ partnership with New York to replace the Portageville Bridge provides the foundation to better serve and support the region’s economy. 

Modjeski and Masters photo from ConstructionEquipmentGuide from posting
Update:

AltoonaWorks posted
7/2017 - The two halves of the new Portageville Bridge on the NS Southern Tier Line were joined this week. The new bridge will replace the 1875 trestle and is expected to open next year.
Read more: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portage_Viaduct
Sean Angelo NS wanted to replace that bridge for a while, as it was getting tired. Plus, there was a 10mph on that bridge, which was a dispatching nightmare. The new bridge should be able to allow speeds of 30mph, helping to keep the trains moving through the southern tier.
AltoonaWorks Sean Angelo The few trains there are, anyway.
Sean Angelo 8 trains a day I've been told.
[It also removes the weight restriction of 273,000 pounds. Today's standard is 286,000. [Progressive]]
Norfolk Southern Corp added two photos with the comment:
Construction of the new Portageville Bridge on Norfolk Southern’s Southern Tier rail line in New York reached a milestone over the weekend. Bridge builders installed the last piece of structural steel to connect the arch span. Iron workers attached a pine tree on the steel frame, a tradition that signifies there were no fatalities during this phase of construction.
The $70-million railroad bridge, which spans the Genesee River Gorge in Letchworth State Park near Castile, N.Y., is a public-private partnership among Norfolk Southern, the New York State Department of Transportation, and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation.
Norfolk Southern hopes to begin running trains on the bridge by the end of this year. The bridge will enable the railroad to better serve customers in Buffalo and the state’s Southern Tier region, supporting businesses, job creation, and economic growth.
Ken Gentzke Jr The new bridge would allow NS to pull 286,000 lbs max cars over this bridge. Currently they are only able to pull cars around 240,000 lbs max cars. Can't remember the exact amount. These heavier cars went for longer routes.

Joe Stoltz Actually I think the new bridge will handle 315,000 pounds at a speed of 35 mph vs a substantially lower weight rating and 10 mph speed limit it now has.

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Now they are using a big red crane to disassemble and remove other cranes so that they can be hauled away. Keith Mckeel posted seven photos with the comment: "4100 ringer tearing down rt9150"

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Lee Farley commented on Keith's posting
There's the 150 on the left and 130 on the right
AltoonaWorks posted
NS Southern Tier Line were joined. The new bridge should be in service early in 2018 I believe.
Walt Lankenau I like how they use cables to counterbalance the partial arches before they're connected.
Dan Mccaslin provided three photos as comments on the above posting.

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The project has had its share of engineering challenges. For example, NS needed to blast and remove more than 16,200 cubic yards of weathered and fractured rock from the gorge walls. On the gorge's west side, the contractor needed to use large cranes to remove the rock because there was no vehicular access to the gorge floor.
The Class I faced environmental difficulties, too. The bridge is located in a state park that’s home to two federally endangered animal species: Northern long-eared bats and timber rattlesnakes. The park also is home to bald eagles, a federally protected species.
To reduce construction noise that could disturb a pair of nesting bald eagles, NS adopted a plan to drill bridge foundation piles in lieu of the "more typical method of pounding," Swanson said. The Class I also limited the use of explosives to excavate arch foundations.
Although NS develops an annual budget for bridge work, the railroad typically funds major bridge replacements through a separate line-item budget. NS has provided nearly $60 million for the $72 million Portageville Bridge replacement, while state and local funds will cover the remainder. The project marks the largest public-private development that NS has ever developed for an individual bridge project, Swanson said. 
[Progressive]
Norfolk Southern (source)
At 2:20 p.m. Monday, Norfolk Southern general merchandise train 36T became the first to cross the new Portageville Bridge.
[I sure hope the NS page is permanent because it has a map.]


A video of a train crossing it. (source)

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