Protected with Bridge Deck Membrane high performance waterproofing, the Portageville Bridge was built to last a lifetime.
High Performance Waterproofing
This brand new 963-foot-long steel arch bridge replaces an iron truss bridge built in 1875 by the Erie Railroad. Spanning the 235-foot-deep Genesee River gorge, the new bridge includes a 483-foot arch with three 80-foot girder spans. The bridge has a ballast-filled concrete deck, protected with Bridge Deck Membrane, an innovative, high performance waterproofing system. With a rapid cure time regardless of ambient temperatures, the installer Eastern Bridge Works was able to install the waterproofing in temperatures as low as 35°F.
Norfolk Southern achieved a number of goals for this project, including:
- Reduce or eliminate the need for extensive maintenance to the circa 1875 bridge
- Increase the capacity on the Southern Tier mainline by utilizing industry standard 286,000-pound rail cars
- Be able to match FRA Class 4 speeds over the bridge
The Portageville Bridge has a storied past, originally built in 1952 at a cost of $175,000. At the time, it was the longest and tallest wooden bridge in the world. After a fire destroyed the bridge in 1875, a new iron bridge was built. Construction started in June 1875, and was opened to rail traffic at the end of July 1875.
At 4:27 PM EST on December 10th, 2017, the last train passed over the old structure.