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Main Street Bridge

Bridge E-128

Main Street Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Marc Scotti

Bridge Documented: July 10, 2008 and August 6, 2013

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Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Main Street (NY-250) Over Erie Canal (New York State Barge Canal)
Location
Fairport: Monroe County, New York: United States
Rehabilitation Date
2009
Main Span Length
138.8 Feet (42.3 Meters)
Structure Length
159.8 Feet (48.7 Meters)
Roadway Width
36.7 Feet (11.19 Meters)
Spans
1 Main Span(s) and 1 Approach Span(s)
Inventory Number
4443220

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
View Information About HSR Ratings

Bridge Documentation

View Archived National Bridge Inventory Report - Has Additional Details and Evaluation

View Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) Documentation For This Bridge

HAER Data Pages, PDF

View Historical Article About This Bridge

This bridge is one of the most bizarre bridges ever seen. Not only is it one of the Erie Canal's unique tower-less vertical lift bridge's which feature supports which rise out of the ground to raise the bridge, it features a polygonal... technically a bowstring as the top chord is smoothly curved... truss form instead of parallel chords as seen on the other Erie Canal vertical lift bridges. However, the unique design of the bridge does not end there. The bridge is heavily skewed, and is also inclined. The truss form, coupled with the skew and inclination results in a bridge in which no two angles are the same, and none are square.

The bridge provides fifteen feet of clearance when lifted, and six feet when lowered.

This page has further information.

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Historic Bridges of the New York State Barge Canal including the Erie Canal and Other Canals and Waterways

The Erie Canal is one of the most famous and historically significant canals in the United States. Aside from the widely recognized historical significance of the canal as a transportation facility itself, a lesser known fact is that the canal is historically significant for the bridges that have spanned the canal over the years. It was here on the Erie Canal where Squire Whipple found a place to successfully get his "Whipple Arch" bowstring truss bridges constructed in significant quantities in the mid-1800s. The success of his Whipple Arch bridges helped contribute to the nationwide transition from wooden bridges to metal bridges. The period of time from 1905-1918 where the Erie Canal was upgraded and widened to become part of the larger New York State Barge Canal was a time of change for the bridges of the canal. Between the process of widening and upgrading the canal, and the nationwide trend to build more substantial bridges in the early 20th Century, the previous generation of bridges (many undoubtedly those Whipple Arch bridges) were replaced by a series of new bridges. These bridges have proved to be very durable and thanks to a clear commitment to preservation on the part of New York State Department of Transportation and other agencies, the Erie Canal and the New York State Barge Canal system, particularly the western section from Lockport to Spencerport boasts one of the highest densities of historic bridges of any waterway in the country. The vast majority of bridges on this section are maintained in beautiful condition.

Although the new bridges from the early 20th Century took a variety of forms, two forms were by far the most common. In rural or spacious areas, a fixed double-intersection Warren through truss was used, with a dirt approach providing the modest elevation needed for a fixed bridge over the canal. Double-intersection Warren truss bridges are generally considered an uncommon truss type on a nationwide basis. In urban and less spacious areas, a vertical lift bridge was used. The vertical lift bridges are an unusual design. Instead of towers that rise above the bridge in a traditional vertical lift bridge and pull the truss span up using cables, these bridges have vertical endposts which extend below the deck and into the ground. When operated, these extended endposts (called the lifting frame) rise out of the ground. In an engineering sense, these unusual vertical lift bridges might be thought of as bedstead truss bridges. Another unique feature of these lift bridges are the stairways found at each end of the bridge on the sidewalks. These stairways allow pedestrians to continue to cross the bridge when the structure is in the raised position. These vertical lift bridges continue to operate for boats today, so observing these unique bridges remains possible.

Elsewhere, the New York State Barge Canal System boasts other types of historically significant bridges.

View National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form for the New York State Barge Canal (Alternate ZIP Version In Sections) - Note this impressive document contains modern color photos of the bridges, some from unique angles, historical photos showing bridge construction, and original plan sheets for some bridges too.

View a HistoricBridges.org photo gallery of the historical photos, modern photos, and original plans contained in the National Register Nomination. This photo gallery can also be found in the Fairport Bridge's page.

View Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) Overview of Erie Canal Locks at Lockport, NY (Data Pages)

View Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) Index - Has a list of structures including bridges that were individually documented for HAER.

Erie Canal Museum

Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor

Erie Canal History

Annual Reports on the New York State Barge Canal (Order By Fiscal Years): 1908, 1909, 1910, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920, 1921

Story of the New York State Canals (1916)

New York State Barge Canal (1915 Overview of Project)


This bridge is tagged with the following special condition(s): Unorganized Photos

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Photo Galleries and Videos: Main Street Bridge

 

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Bridge Photo-Documentation

Original / Full Size Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer.
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View Photo Gallery

Bridge Photo-Documentation

Mobile Optimized Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer.
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View Photo Gallery

Barge Canal Nomination Form Media

Original / Full Size Photos
A collection of historical construction photos, modern color photos, and original plans for the Barge Canal. This generalized gallery has been included on this bridge page as this is one of the most famous and iconic canal bridges. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer.
Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer

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View Photo Gallery

Barge Canal Nomination Form Media

Mobile Optimized Photos
A collection of historical construction photos, modern color photos, and original plans for the Barge Canal. This generalized gallery has been included on this bridge page as this is one of the most famous and iconic canal bridges. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer.
Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer

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View Photo Gallery

Additional Unorganized Photos

Original / Full Size Photos
A supplemental collection of photos that are from additional visit(s) to the bridge and have not been organized or captioned. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer.
Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer

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View Photo Gallery

Additional Unorganized Photos

Mobile Optimized Photos
A supplemental collection of photos that are from additional visit(s) to the bridge and have not been organized or captioned. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer.
Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer

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Maps and Links: Main Street Bridge

Coordinates (Latitude, Longitude):

Search For Additional Bridge Listings:

Bridgehunter.com: View listed bridges within 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) of this bridge.

Bridgehunter.com: View listed bridges within 10 miles (16 kilometers) of this bridge.

HistoricBridges.org Bridge Browser: View listed bridges within 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) of this bridge.

HistoricBridges.org Bridge Browser: View listed bridges within 10 miles (16 kilometers) of this bridge.

2021 National Bridge Inventory: View listed bridges within 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) of this bridge.

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