Author Topic: The Oxbow Bridge Controversy  (Read 13 times)

Michael Caswell

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The Oxbow Bridge Controversy
« on: November 06, 2021, 08:30:14 pm »
If you've strolled down the Oxbow Trail (off Erie Cr to Old Post Rd) lately, you'll have noticed something is going on.

A few weeks ago some heavy machinery turned up, Low loaders bringing earth moving machinery, then several loads of huge concrete blocks and a load of stone chippings, plus wire, netting and other accessories.

To back up a little. A few months ago, my wife and I were doing our daily walk with our dogs along The Oxbow Trail and we came across a group of school board members looking at the stream where the bridge had washed out almost a year ago.


They were there to discuss how the school was going to fix the bridge. They seemed excited that it was, at last, going to have something done.
The Canal Corporation had suggested they had an old metal bridge that would do the job, but the idea fizzled out when the CC maintenance supervisor retired.

The stream flows from Harts Woods underground across the Minerva Deland Playing field and emerges from the culvert as it crosses the old original canal, on the east side of the Oxbow trail.

The interesting thing here is that if one looks carefully at old maps, it becomes obvious that the 'bridge' is on Canal Corporation property, and NOT on School property.

Apparently, the school had an 'easement' arrangement to allow the water flow into the Oxbow.
So, the question has to be asked, why is the Fairport School district paying for the repair/replacement of a canal corporation bridge?

And how much is this going to cost?  The ECNA put a call into the suppliers of the concrete blocks and were told approximately $50 per square foot on the face of each block. This came to about $45,000. Then, apparently, there is the cost of the precast bridge, as the 100 or so blocks were only to line the culvert and provide a support for the bridge itself. We'll estimate that the bridge  cost $25,000. Then there is the labor for this project, and we feel this would be, at least $25,000. So now we're at about $100,000.

About a week after all the materials had been delivered, we were told the Canal Corporation had issued a STOP WORK order on this job.

Apparently, the school district had forgotten they only had an 'easement' and, they needed a CC permit to carry out work on Canal Property.

Canal Permits take time, and so now, the entire operation is now stalled.

In summary, we have to consider what is at stake here. We have probably 20- 30 people wanting to cross this bridge a day. Some school children, some dog walkers, a few fishermen; all who can find  another route.


If, in the unlikely situation that a maintenance vehicle needs to get to this trail, then they can approach it from Old Post Road.

The ECNA provided a 'work around' which has been operating for almost two years.

So why has the Fairport School district felt it necessary to spend $100,000 to fix a bridge that they had no right to be involved with, and make Perinton residents school taxes pay this horrendous bill?

« Last Edit: November 07, 2021, 09:52:27 am by Doug K »

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