Rochester Running Track Bridge Over the Genesee River Improvements Phase 1

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About the project 

The Rochester Running Track Bridge is located approximately one mile north of downtown Rochester.  Soaring 100 feet above the Genesee River, the single-track iron structure originally spanned 705 feet across the Genesee River gorge and consisted of three plate girder spans of 40 feet each, three plate girder spans of 30 feet each (spanning tops of towers), three riveted lattice spans of 65 feet each, one Pratt truss span of 100 feet and one Pratt truss span of 200 feet. In addition to two masonry piers, the spans of this bridge are supported on eight iron bents in height from 27 feet to 86 feet from masonry pedestals to top of bent.  Span 1 of the original superstructure is missing, the timber ties are removed from Span 2, and the west abutment is buried in fill. 

The Running Track Bridge is a former rail bridge that once exemplified the City’s industrial prowess. Today, the bridge sits abandoned but continues to highlight the importance of connections across the Genesee River, linking neighborhoods like El Camino, Edgerton, and High Falls as well as destinations on either side.  Rehabilitating the bridge as a pedestrian amenity will highlight the historic value of the structure and reuse of this resource will allow the City to meet today’s needs and ensure complementary and cohesive connections to other ROC the Riverway projects.  

Phase I of this project stabilized the existing infrastructure so that a more permanent pedestrian bridge could be placed atop the trestle bridge in a future phase.  

Download a site location map

 Download 2020 Inspection Photos

Project Objectives

The objective of this bridge project was to preserve and prolong the service life of the existing bridge by reducing the rate of deterioration of the deficient bridge elements most critical to its stability through cost effective rehabilitation strategies.
Eliminating selected bridge element deficiencies using cost effective rehabilitation strategies had the following goals: 
  • Extend the structure’s service life and prevent collapse until a more comprehensive rehabilitation can be undertaken as part of a future and separate rails-to-trails conversion to a pedestrian bridge
  • Reduce the life-cycle maintenance costs
  • Improve the overall condition of the structure
  • Improve security at the bridge site and deter trespassing
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 Project Team

The design consultant team of Bergmann Associates with Prudent Engineering were selected through the City’s Request for Proposal (RFP) process to provide engineering, planning and design services for the project.


Project Schedule

  • The bridge stabilization project was completed in 2022. Plans for future work are still being developed. 
 Project Funding and Attributions

Design and construction documents are prepared with funds provided by City of Rochester and the New York State Department of Transportation.
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If you have questions or comments about the Rochester Running Track Bridge over the Genesee River, please contact Tomas Andino in the City’s Bureau of Architecture and Engineering at 428-6535, or by email.