It will take a little longer to reopen the Fairport Lift Bridge which spans the Erie Canal. The bridge closed for repairs in Sept. 2019.
Originally, repairs on the 105-year-old bridge were expected to be completed in November, but officials with the New York State Department of Transportation say that they are facing construction delays due to supply chain issues and being able to get certain parts.
DOT Region 4 Director Kevin Bush said that the agency is now expecting the bridge to reopen to traffic as early as February 2021. Bush also noted that the state will continue to communicate with the village on the progress and provide updates as needed.
Bryan White, Fairport village manager, said the news is disappointing, but understandable considering the challenges during the pandemic.
"We were hoping that the lift bridge would be open in November, especially during COVID and so forth when there’s been a lot of strain on the local economy," White said. "We understand the challenges of trying to do construction projects and secure parts and materials in this time, so it’s understandable that we can see that the bridge might be delayed just due to materials and so forth."
White said that Fairport will continue its ‘Fairport on the Rise’ promotional campaign to highlight the attractions in the village.
Scott Winner, executive director of the Fairport Perinton Partnership, which is involved in helping promote various activities in the village, The prolonged bridge closing combined with the pandemic presents another challenge for merchants.
"The business community is obviously really going to be feeling this because we lost last holiday season with the bridge out and we had not anticipated that we would lose a second holiday season and obviously it’s a very important time for our merchants," Winner said.
Winner said he also undertands how it must be difficult to find parts for a more than century-old bridge but noted the bigger challenge is the pandemic, which affected festivals in Fairport. Those cancelled festivals impacted the local economy. He said whenever the pandemic situation eases and restrictions on gatherings are lifted, that will go a long way in helping local merchants.