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Fairport Lift Bridge facts for kids

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Fairport Lift Bridge
Erie Canal - Fairport Lift Bridge.JPG
The Fairport Lift Bridge in Fairport, New York (2007)
Coordinates 43°06′05.80″N 77°26′30.98″W / 43.1016111°N 77.4419389°W / 43.1016111; -77.4419389
Carries NY 250 (Main Street)
Crosses Erie Canal
Locale Fairport, New York
Maintained by NYS Department of Transportation
ID number E-128 (HAER NY-456)
Design steel Warren truss with vertical lift
Total length 160 ft (49 m)
Width 37 ft (11 m)
Longest span 139 ft (42 m)
Clearance below approx. 6 ft (2 m) lowered
approx. 16 ft (5 m) raised
Construction begin 1913
Construction end 1914
Opened August 15, 1914
Daily traffic automobile and pedestrians
Fairport Lift Bridge
Area 1 acre (0.4 ha)
Architectural style Warren Pony Truss
MPS New York State Barge Canal
NRHP reference No. 14000860
Added to NRHP October 15, 2014

The Fairport Lift Bridge is a through-truss mechanical lift bridge that carries NY Route 250 (Main Street) over the Erie Canal in downtown Fairport, New York, United States. It was constructed in 1913-1914 by the Lackawanna Bridge Company of Buffalo, New York and contracted by H.S. Kerbaugh, Inc. of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, replacing an 80 ft (24 m) fixed bridge built in 1886 which was removed when the Erie Canal was widened. The Fairport Lift Bridge officially opened to automobile traffic on August 15, 1914. Originally having a wooden deck made of yellow pine, the bridge floor was replaced with steel grating in later years. It is one of sixteen vertical lift bridges located along the western portion of the Erie Canal between Fairport and Lockport.

The 139 ft (42 m) bridge is of unique design, being a decagonal style structure with no two angles the same throughout and no square corners on the bridge floor. It also crosses the canal at a 32-degree angle with the southern side being on the higher end. Powered by 40-horsepower electric motors, the bridge has a vertical lift of 10.6 ft (3.2 m). The structure is entirely raised straight up on four corner posts despite the bridge floor having a 4% grade. Over an average water level on the Erie Canal, approximate clearances below the bridge are 6 ft (2 m) when lowered and 16 ft (5 m) when raised. The control building is located on the southeast side of the bridge.

Due to increased traffic usage and need of significant repairs, the Fairport Lift Bridge was threatened to be replaced in the 1970s with a new concrete bridge spanning both the railroad tracks and canal. A decision was eventually made to replace the bridge at nearby Turk Hill Road instead to ease congestion and keep the historic lift bridge in place on Main Street.

Because of its unusual appearance, the Fairport Lift Bridge was apparently listed in Ripley's Believe It or Not! The bridge was last refurbished in 1988. Some recent repair work was done though in 2013. On September 4, 2019, the New York State Department of Transportation closed the Fairport Lift Bridge for general maintenance and rehabilitation. Work should take up to 15 months to complete. Motorists can currently use Turk Hill Road (NY Route 31F) over the canal for the primary detour back to Main Street.

As part of the New York State Barge Canal system, the Fairport Lift Bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 2014.

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