New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation announced today that the pedestrian bridge near the Franklin Street entrance to the Watkins Glen State Park Gorge Trail will be closed for renovation this season. A temporary bridge will be installed in the coming weeks to ensure access to the gorge for the summer. The gorge trail will open by Memorial Day weekend, but visitors may need to use other points of entry until the temporary bridge is installed.
A recently completed inspection of the bridge found that significant erosion of the native stone has compromised the integrity of bridge abutments at both ends of the 1930’s era bridge, known as the Sentry Bridge. New York State Parks is proceeding with engineering and design to repair or replace the bridge. The timeline of the bridge renovation has not been determined.
To accommodate access to the gorge, New York State Parks will install a temporary 56-foot-wide aluminum truss bridge that will lay over the existing stone arch bridge. The temporary bridge will rest on new abutments. It is expected to be in place by early summer. Until then, visitors will need to use the Upper Entrance or the North or South Rim Trails to access lower portions of the Gorge Trail. Signage will be in place at the park to direct visitors.
The gorge trail is currently closed for the winter until an annual rock safety scaling project is complete.
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