Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Rochester, NY Bridges on the Genesee River - Part 2

We looked at a number of the bridges crossing the Genesee River in Rochester going North from the Balantyne Rd. bridge to the Main Street bridge. Let's continue on from the Sister Cities bridge to the Hojak bridge.
  • Sister Cities Pedestrian Bridge - This pedestrian bridge, little used and in disrepair was dedicated in 1975. In 2006 the bridge was renamed the Frank and Janet Lamb Sister Cities Bridge, in honor of Rochester's 61st mayor and his wife.
  • Andrews Street Bridge - The original bridge on the Andrew St. site, a wooden truss bridge, was built in 1826. An iron bridge replaced the original in 1857 and the current stone structure was built in 1893.
  • I-490 Inner Loop - This bridge is located just south of the High Falls of the Genesee River. It was near this area that a number of mills were located in the city's early years.
  • Railroad Bridge - This bridge parallels the Inner Loop and is Amtrak line running east and west through Rochester. The bridge actually has three tracks on it.
  • Pont de Rennes Pedestrian Bridge - This bridge, named after one of Rochester's sister cities in France, was created in 1982 from what then was the Platt Street Bridge, a truss bridge. The original bridge was erected in 1891. The street that crosses the bridge in additional to Platt Street is also called Morrie Silver Way, the individual who was instrumental with keeping the Rochester Red Wings International League team in Rochester. Before reaching the Genesee River on the west side the street passes Frontier Field, the present home of the Red Wings.
  • Smith Street (Bausch Street) Bridge - This site on the Genesee River has had a bridge since 1873 when the Vincent Street Bridge was erected. This truss bridge was used until 1892 when it was deemed unsafe by the Commission of Public Works. A second truss was added, thereby strengthening the bridge and it was reopened and renamed the Smith Street Bridge. The current bridge at this location was replaced by the steel Bausch Street Bridge in 1930.
  • Driving Park Bridge - A number of bridges have been erected at the site of the current Driving Park Bridge, the first being the wooden Cartage Bridge erected in 1819. At the time it was the 196 ft above the river and described as "one of the wonders of the world." It was apparently not much of a "wonder" as it collapsed after only fifteen months. In 1827 another wooden bridge was erected to replace the Cartage Bridge but that, located much lower and closer to the falls, was washed away by flood. In 1835 a third wooden bridge was erected and that too was washed away by flood. The next was a suspension bridge which was opened in 1857 but collapsed the following year. In 1919 a wrought iron bridge was erected and that lasted until 1989 when it was demolished and replaced by the current span.
  • Veterans Memorial Bridge - At this location the old Veterans Memorial Bridge is a part of the Keeler Expressway (Route 104). The original Veterans Memorial was built in 1931. In addition to the motor traffic, there is a pedestrian over the river in the same location.
  • Seneca Maplewood Gorge Foot Bridge - The foot bridge, as its name implies, provides a pedestrian path over the Genesee River from Seneca Park on the east side to Maplewood Park on the west side. I don't know when this bridge was erected but I do not recall it being there when I lived in the city (until 1970).
  • Patrick O'Rorke Memorial Bridge - This bridge replaced the Stutson Street Bridge in 2004. It is crosses the river at Pattonwood Drive about a block south of Stutson Street. The Stutson Street Bridge, a lift bridge, was erected in 1916 shortly after Charlotte was annexed into the city. The new O'Rorke bridge was named after one of Rochester's Civil War heroes. Patrick O'Rorke, a native of County Cavan, Ireland, came with his family to Rochester. After public school education in Rochester he was appointed to West Point where he graduated first in his class in 1861. He commanded the 140th New York Volunteer Infantry and was killed on the second day at the Battle of Gettysburg on Little Round top. He is buried in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery on Lake Avenue.
  • Hojak Bridge - This railroad bridge is a swing bridge is in the center of the Genesee River near the entrance to Lake Ontario and is in a permanently opened position. The bridge was built for the New York Central Railroad in 1905 for the Hojack line that ran from Niagara Falls to Oswego. Although the bridge is no longer used for any railroad, there is currently an effort underway to save the bridge as a tourist site.
Additional informational concerning the Genesee River bridges is available at Vintage Views of Rochester.

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