Ben's Bridge

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Ben's Bridge

Postby Plate C » Mon Aug 24, 2015 9:37 pm

Hey, I venture up to Selkirk every few months, did I miss the news or is someone pulling my leg? Was told that the bridge is coming down in September?! I saw construction further down and thought I had heard about new lines being put in, don't recall ever hearing about the bridge though.
True? Or False?
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Re: Ben's Bridge

Postby docsteve » Sat Aug 29, 2015 3:02 pm

I was in Selkirk this morning. While there is nothing happening at the bridge, there is construction south of the Inbound Yard between CP-FB and the Division Building:


Image

While there's nothing happening from the building eastward, there are some markings painted on the asphalt in the parking lot just to the west of the bridge. To the east of the bridge, there are the new tracks in South Departure, but the new switch already in place is just to the east of the bridge.

West of the Route 32 bridge towards CP-FB some trackwork is already taking place:

Image

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Re: Ben's Bridge

Postby Plate C » Sun Aug 30, 2015 6:14 pm

Thanks for sharing. I stopped by there myself, was already aware of the construction, but saw where railfans had written on the bridge with the date of its construction and 2015. Still, surprised. I had seen a link to CSX's reported projects throughout their system and while I saw the addition of new trackage I did not see the bridge removal listed separately or as part of that project.

I know that those who mainly like to photograph the power will move on to any of the other many crossings and other points in the surrounding area where you can catch that on the move, but I have enjoyed the many times of just watching various yard activities, watching rolling stock, etc., so this is unfortunate.
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Re: Ben's Bridge

Postby docsteve » Tue Sep 01, 2015 7:56 pm

I think this is all part of the Selkirk Bypass project (http://www.dot.ny.gov/portal/page/portal/recovery/repository/NYSDOT%20Selkirk%20Bypass%20TIGER%20App%20-%20Final%20v2.pdf) although I'm not completely clear on the implementation. The only way they get a complete double-track bypass is if they connect the double-track around South Departure to what's going on west of the Division Building. That would be the end of the bridge.

BTW, the "Ben's Bridge" sign is gone.

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Re: Ben's Bridge

Postby ccutler » Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:09 am

Selkirk bypass: A 2009 TIGER project intended to help us get out of a recession, being spent in 2015.

Nice work.
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Re: Ben's Bridge

Postby mmi16 » Wed Sep 02, 2015 3:43 pm

To those of us not from the Selkirk area - What is the significance of 'Ben's Bridge'.
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Re: Ben's Bridge

Postby docsteve » Wed Sep 02, 2015 9:10 pm

mmi16 wrote:To those of us not from the Selkirk area - What is the significance of 'Ben's Bridge'.


Ben's Bridge (the exact identity of "Ben" is somewhat obscure) crosses (perhaps soon to be "crossed") the middle of the yard; more precisely, it crosses the eastern end of the inbound yard, over the fuel-plant/shop complex, and over the middle of the departure yard. The elevation provides fine sight-lines across the yard(s). For decades it has provided excellent photo opportunities.

The bridge was closed to vehicular traffic a couple of years ago due to its poor condition, but walkers/runners and bicyclists still use it, as well as railfans. I have heard that the town (Bethlehem, N.Y.) has wanted the bridge in place to facilitate emergency services movements, while the railroad wants it gone. I'm not sure who actually owns the bridge, who is responsible for its upkeep: I think that there has been some discussion about that.

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Re: Ben's Bridge

Postby docsteve » Wed Sep 02, 2015 9:13 pm

ccutler wrote:Selkirk bypass: A 2009 TIGER project intended to help us get out of a recession, being spent in 2015.

Nice work.


Considering that the Fed is still afraid to raise interest rates, perhaps it remains a timely investment, as the recession still is not over. :)
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Re: Ben's Bridge

Postby dwil89 » Sun Sep 13, 2015 2:04 pm

There was a public hearing in July that was posted about on Facebook....Bens Bridge is scheduled to be torn down by the end of 2015 including the approach ramps....Local legislature voted to allocate funds for the demolition...No replacement bridge will be built.
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Re: Ben's Bridge

Postby docsteve » Sun Sep 20, 2015 8:09 am

Sat, 9/19 status: Bridge is still standing. Lots of panel track (turnouts) in the division building parking lot. Track work continuing eastward form CP-FB past the Rte 32 bridge.

Oh, and as a stimulus project, investing in railroads in upstate NY is still timely as the Fed is still afraid to raise interest rates. [Sorry]

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Re: Ben's Bridge

Postby CPSK » Sun Sep 20, 2015 9:27 am

Interesting; I thought I read a thread in this forum several years back that "Ben's Bridge" would be rehabilitated. Either I am incorrect, or that was the case in the past - before the Selkirk Bypass was planned. Actually, double-track bypass makes sense.
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Re: Ben's Bridge

Postby docsteve » Wed Sep 23, 2015 8:34 pm

CPSK wrote:Interesting; I thought I read a thread in this forum several years back that "Ben's Bridge" would be rehabilitated.


As I recall, that was the case.
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Re: Ben's Bridge

Postby dwil89 » Wed Oct 07, 2015 12:25 am

Posts on Facebook show pictures of demolition equipment arriving on scene at Bens Bridge as of 10/6/15..so it appears that the bridge removal will begin any time now.
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Re: Ben's Bridge

Postby AMK0123 » Fri Oct 16, 2015 4:04 pm

Was up at Selkirk today. Ben's bridge is still standing however there is now barricades and road closed signs in place along with numerous pieces of equipment and materials. There was several construction men on sight so I couldn't have snuck up to the bridge anyway to take a quick look. Good thing I took plenty of pictures over the past 10 years. Was wondering if anyone has any good places to railfan around the yard. I drove around for awhile and every access point has no trespassing signs or the bridges you'd be interfering with traffic. There happens to be a nice pavilion that CSX put up with picnic benches on the north side of the yard by the car dept. I would assume that's not for railfans and anyone there would be trespassing.
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Re: Ben's Bridge

Postby johnpbarlow » Sat Oct 17, 2015 7:18 am

Sounds like it will become drone-only territory - but there is a nearby airport...
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