FAIRPORT, N.Y. (WROC) — The reopening of the Fairport Lift Bridge has been delayed again.
The New York State Department of Transportation says supply chain issues have led to a delay in getting the necessary materials for the rehabilitation process.
The reopening is now slated for later this spring. This is the second time the project has been delayed.
Douglas Sharp owns RV&E Bike and Skate on Main Street near the bridge. He said while the bridge closure may have decreased foot traffic near his business, the community support is still strong.
“We are very lucky within the village of Fairport that people still come out, as you can see today in the shop, it’s springtime so for us people use it as a destination. Yes, it can it be a little bit of an inconvenience to have to come over Parker Street bridge,” said Sharp.
Mayor Julie Domaratz said she’s disappointed in the delay but said the DOT is doing everything it can to ensure the bridge is completed safely.
“This all stemmed from the specific parts that they need for the bridge, they’re all custom manufactured,” she said. “They’re doing their best to get the job done but manufacturing delays are manufacturing delays.”
Domaratz said she’s made plans to meet weekly with the DOT to give the community more frequent updates. She says the bridge construction likely won’t impact Canal Days, but plans for the event are still up in the air.
“I feel comfortable that by the time we get to June, which is normally when Canal Days are held, the bridge will be back in place. I would say the bigger issue for Canal Days is restrictions from COVID.”
The committee is working on alternatives, but hasn’t presented those to the village board yet. Sharp is on that committee.
“Last year we had anticipated, prior to COVID really stopping it from happening, that we had alternate spaces to be used so that implementation is back on the table,” he said.
The bridge is set to reopen in late spring. Construction is also underway on Lift Bridge Lane west. The mayor said new accessible docks, businesses, and services will make the area a “gateway” to the canal when the project is finished.