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Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

Portageville Rail Bridge project reaches a milestone

The photo shows an upward view of the existing bridge from below the nearby Upper Falls.
Photo –


Steel construction has begun on the main arch span of the Portageville Rail Bridge that crosses the Genesee River in Letchworth State Park in Portageville, N.Y.

Since construction to replace the 152-year-old structure began in 2015, work has focused on preparation of the foundations and approach piers, which has included blasting of the gorge walls, said officials at Modjeski and Masters, the engineering firm for the bridge replacement project, in a press release.

The bridge is considered a vital link along Norfolk Southern Railway's Southern Tier line that runs between Binghampton and Buffalo, N.Y. The 820-foot steel viaduct no longer meets the demands of a heavy freight railroad.

The start of steel construction marks a milestone in what is currently one of NS' largest bridge projects, said Kevin Johns, project manager at Modjeski and Masters.

"The existing railroad bridge has defined the viewshed of the gorge and waterfalls since 1875," Johns said. "The erection of the first steel members of the new arch bridge marks the start of what will be the new viewshed for at least the next 100 years."

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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