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Detours ahead: Overdue Erie Canal bridge repairs to bring short-term pain for some drivers

In Monroe, Orleans and Wayne counties, the century old truss and lift bridges that carry traffic over the Erie Canal are now in the worst condition of any in the Empire state.

For over 100 years, they’ve seen salt and snow, freezes and thaws, baking sun and a constant pounding from carriage wheels and hooves and now, tires and traffic.

And although they remain scenic, they’re also showing their age.

While the state Department of Transportation is gearing up to make an unprecedented — and perhaps overdue — investment in those historic spans, a Democrat and Chronicle investigation has found more than half the local canal bridges are considered to be “structurally deficient” and have low so-called “sufficiency ratings.”

Some of the major fixes will also involve big disruptions to travel routines — especially in Fairport and Spencerport.

Bridges are assessed in New York every two years and are assigned a numerical “sufficiency rating” on a scale of 1 to 100. Bridges rated lower than “50” are considered in need of significant fixes.

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