I knew that there were a number of bridges crossing the Genesee River in Rochester. Most are traffic bridges and some railroad bridges. One type that I was nor aware of were pedestrian bridges. I don't recall any pedestrian bridges when I lived there but there may have been some. The bridges from the southern boundary of the city north to Lake Ontario are:
- Balantyne/Jefferson Rd. Bridge - This first bridge I find is actually located in the Town of Henrietta and is not in the city. When I lived in Rochester this bridge was a two lane truss bridge built in 1913 but has since been replaced by a four lane rigid frame type.
- Conrail Bridge - Just up-river from the Balantyne Rd. Bridge is a railroad bridge for one of the Conrail lines in Rochester. The line crosses Scottsville Rd., the Genesee River and East River Rd. This Conrail line goes east to Fairport and then follows the Erie Canal east.
- Interstate-390 - I-390, the Outer Loop (we'll see the Inner Loop soon), crosses the river just south of the Erie Canal.
- Erie Canal - Obviously not a bridge but a significant crossing of the Genesee River. The Erie Canal crossing here is the city line and also at this point Scottsville Rd. changes to Genesee St. This location at the southwest corner of the city was not the original site of the canal. It's original route took it to downtown Rochester where it crossed the Genesee in an aqueduct. The route was changed in the early 1900's.
- Elmwood Ave - This bridge in the northern portion of Genesee Valley Park takes motorists from the 19th Ward area on the west side to the University of Rochester/Strong Memorial Hospital area on the east side. The original bridge, a iron truss bridge, was constructed in 1888. The original truss bridge was replaced by a rigid frame type in the 1930's.
- Pedestrian Bridge to University of Rochester - This bridge, also called the South River Corridor Pedestrian Bridge, was built in 1991 to link the 19th Ward to the University of Rochester.
- Erie Lackawanna Railroad Bridge - According to a study done for the City of Rochester to investigate the use of this bridge site as a part of the Genesee Riverway Trails complex, a railroad bridge has been at this location on the Genesee River since the 1850s. The current bridge has been there since the early 1900s and was in use for freight until 1971.
- Ford Street - This bridge, previously called the Clarissa St. bridge, was built in 2000. The original bridge at this point was a wooden truss bridge built in 1844. In 1862 an iron bridge was built at the same site, and this in turn was replaced in 1892 with an iron truss bridge. Finally, the Clarissa St. Bridge that I remember was built in 1918.
- I-490 Inner Loop - Because the Inner Loop does, as its name implies, loop around the downtown area of Rochester, we will find another I-490 bridge as we move north on the river. This particular location was the site of the Troup-Howell Bridge prior to the construction of the Inner Loop. Troup-Howell was constructed in 1954 and had major renovations as part of the Inner Loop until its replacement by the Frederick Douglass-Susan B. Anthony Memorial Bridge in 2007. (This is without a doubt one of the longest bridge names I have ever heard!)
- Court Street Bridge - The original Court Street Bridge was a plank bridge which was replaced by a truss bridge in 1858 and the current bridge (with alterations and renovations), a stone arch bridge, was built in 1893.
- Broad Street Bridge - This is probably one of the most interesting bridge on the Genesee River. This bridge was built on top of the Erie Canal aqueduct. This is the site of the original crossing of the Erie Canal over the Genesee River. When the canal was rerouted to the southern part of the city in 1919, the canal bed was sold to the city for use as part of a subway system. Tracks were laid, a concrete roof was built over the top and that became Broad Street.
- Main Street - When I grew up in Rochester one could not see the Genesee River as Main Street crossed it. Today there are no buildings on the bridge and one can see the river.
The Main Street bridge is probably a good place to stop for now. A follow-on post will talk about the additional eleven bridges that cross the Genesee in Rochester.