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Wood to concrete

Western Gateway Bridge has roots in early 1800s

Public complaints were widely voiced when a view-obstructing concrete wall was erected on the western side of the Western Gateway Bridge during a renovation project that began last October.
Photographer: Marc Schultz
Public complaints were widely voiced when a view-obstructing concrete wall was erected on the western side of the Western Gateway Bridge during a renovation project that began last October.
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As workers renovate the Western Gateway Bridge connecting Scotia and Schenectady, they are adding to a history that spans two centuries. It began in the early 1800s with the construction of the Burr Bridge, a wooden-cabled suspension bridge that stood a short way downriver from the one cars rush across today. Designed by Theodore Burr, a bridge designer of the post-Revolutionary period, it was the first bridge to connect the village with the city. The ...

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comments

tonijean613
November 3, 2013
9:40 a.m.

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You can't get more common sense than to keep a beautiful river view Open for locals as well as visitors - it's a tourism "no brainer" a quality of life "no brainer".
Who ever was responsible for this shortsighted design debacle- needs to correct it ASAP- Schdy needs to showcase all its attributes with beautiful improvements- not cement walls that will invite graffiti.

MDogsMom
November 3, 2013
3:05 p.m.

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As well as taking away the view, where's the snow going to go? The pedestrians are going to lose out in the Winter. Either the plows will push the snow up onto the walkway where it will get stuck since it can't go thru the solid concrete or the sidewalk plows will push the snow onto the road.

Whoever made the decision to make it ugly, solid concrete should eat the cost of replacing it with iron. I'm sure for that reason the people who cross the bridge wouldn't mind the inconvenience a little longer.

ChuckD
November 3, 2013
3:46 p.m.

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Lots of great descriptive text here DG, but there's also some great photography of the old bridges. It's a shame those weren't included too.

BillP
November 3, 2013
3:55 p.m.

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I disagree with your premise that the current bridge some how has its roots in the bridges which formerly connected Washington Avenue in Schenectady with Washington Ave in Scotia, at the corner with Schonowee Ave.
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The resurfacing and restyling of the 2nd Western Gateway bridge does have a wonderful history with the previous concrete masterpiece. The original bridge connecting Route 5 with its dead mans curve. It was the path of many workers starting and finishing their shift at General Electric. This bridge has its own history.
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Did you read the document by Union College’s geology department or books by Larry Hart? There is plenty of information about the bridges that connected the two Washington Avenues. The Burr Bridge was only one of the spans. The history behind the bridges connecting the East end of Scotia with the Stockade include the first passenger railroad, a historic covered bridge, a toll bridge and multiple problems caused by ice jams.
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The changes to the current bridge have no roots to the 1800's. Congratulations in adding to the dismay of all historians. By documenting the headline in todays paper you've rewritten history and confused future generations.
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Bill Pytlovany
VisitScotia.com

grovestand57
November 3, 2013
9:34 p.m.

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Perhaps part of the solid concrete wall could be replaced with iron railing, where the view is most scenic.

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