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Bay Outlet Bridge is open for the season

A brief history of the Irondequoit Bay Outlet Bridge

Photo: Monroe County website


Webster, NY - Monroe County opened the Irondequoit Bay Outlet Bridge (IBOB) to vehicular traffic on Nov. 2.

The bridge will remain open through March 31, 2021.

The IBOB, which is located on the north end of Irondequoit Bay, connects Culver Road in the Town of Irondequoit to Lake Road in the Town of Webster.

The swing bridge routinely opens during the winter months every year, in accordance with permits issued by the U.S. Coast Guard. It is maintained and operated by the Monroe County Department of Transportation.

Below is a brief history of the bridge as it is written on the Monroe County website:

In the early 1900s, the shallow channel was crossed by a narrow truss highway bridge and a single track railroad line. Around 1929 the bridge was replaced with a two–lane structure supported on timber piles. The timber bridge remained in service until August 14, 1985, when it was removed as part of an Army Corps of Engineers project that opened the Irondequoit Bay to marine traffic from Lake Ontario and created a state park at the bay outlet, to spark development in the bay.

The Irondequoit Bay Outlet Bridge came to be after several studies were carried out to determine the best way to traverse the bay outlet. The consultant determined that a low–level removable or “seasonal” bridge spanning the channel four months of the year was the only viable alternative that could be constructed with the remaining funds, after the allocated $20 million for a high level bridge was diverted to the California earthquake relief in 1994. Monroe County Legislature approved the $4.8 million project in 1997.

Included in the $4.8 million was the renovation of the nearby Irondequoit Bay Marine Park and the building of a Bobtail Swing Truss Bridge, plus engineering fees.

The two–span swing structure has a main span of 132.5 feet and a counter–weighted span of 53 feet. The pivot point of the bridge is on the west bank of the channel.

The superstructure is a galvanized pony truss with bolted connections. The use of bolted connections and full galvanization results in a structure that will be virtually maintenance free over its designed life. The use of bolted connections eliminates the fatigue concerns common with modern welded truss bridge systems and allows full galvanization of the truss.

The deck is solid concrete on the counterweight span and galvanized open grating on the main span. The sidewalk is also concrete on the counterweight span and aluminum grating on the main span.

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