Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Portageville Bridge construction begins

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Bridge engineering firm Modjeski and Masters announced the start of steel construction on the main arch span of the Portageville Bridge across the Genesee River in Letchworth State Park in Portageville, New York.

The Portageville Bridge, also known as the High Bridge, is considered to be the vital link along Norfolk Southern Corporation's Southern Tier Route, a railroad line that runs between Binghamton and Buffalo, New York. Built in 1875, the historic 820-foot steel viaduct can no longer meet the demands of a Class 1 Heavy Freight Railroad. Construction to replace the bridge began in 2015. To date, construction has been focused on the preparation of the foundations and approach piers, which has included blasting of the gorge walls.

Modjeski and Masters engineers began work on the Portageville Bridge by inspecting and rating the original bridge, which confirmed the bridge's near-exhausted useful life. Approximately 4,200 linear feet of track realignment was designed for the project to provide a modest increase to allowable operating speed with minimal impact to the scenic park viewshed or park resources. The start of steel construction by American Bridge marks a turning point in what is currently one of Norfolk Southern's largest bridge projects; one that will help to preserve the beauty of its scenic location and continue to draw significant tourism to New York State.

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