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Designer selected for Brockport pedestrian bridge

There are plans to build a pedestrian bridge over the Erie Canal in Brockport. (Photo credit: Connor Zerniak)

By Connor Zerniak / Staff Writer

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced in January that SHoP Architects will be the lead designer of the  pedestrian bridge that is being built as part of the Reimagine the Canals initiative in Brockport.  

The bridge will connect the SUNY Brockport campus to the Erie Canal path on the opposite side of the canal at Commissary Park.  

According to Brockport Mayor Margay Blackman, the bridge is part of many plans for improvements along the canal in the village.  

“We were selected as a site for Reimagine the Canals and the bridge as one of the infrastructure improvements, under the governor’s program,” Blackman said. “The local committee had input into which one of these designs looked best for our location, and I think pretty much everyone agreed on the one that we like the best.” 

After selecting SHoP Architects as the lead designer from several different designs, the bridge will form a loop along the Empire State trail in the village.  

“It is referred to as a loop because as its conceptualizedit will go from where Commissary Park is all the way up to the Smith Street bridge, and hopefully the pedestrian and bicycle access will be redesigned so that it is more pedestrian and bicycle-friendly, and that will continue down to Corbett Park, Blackman explained.  

Blackman also plans to have many updates done to Corbett Park, the Village of Brockport’s largest park. There are also plans to build a boathouse along the canal where the bridge is being built.  

Michael Andriatch, SUNY Brockport’s Vice President for Advancement, is a part of the local committee, along with Blackman, that is overseeing the pedestrian bridge plans. He explainthat the financial plans for the bridge came from many different parties.  

“It was a collaboration with the state, the village, the college, and then the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, which gave some of the money as well to have this project happen,” Andriatch said.  

The bridge going over the Erie Canal will connect the two sides of Brockport. (Photo credit: Connor Zerniak)

The goal of the bridge is to connect the college campus to the canal path and also be a feature that makes the Village of Brockport stand out from other canal towns,” Blackman said 

“It will be a terrific benefit to have pedestrian access the Empire State trail across the north side of the college,” Blackman said. “One of the other pieces that was important in the design was that that the bridge will have a really nice view of the canal looking westward, and the plan is eventually that we could be hosting rowing regattas on that part of the canal.”  

The bridge and the other improvements being made may bring new events and activities to the Brockport community, as well as create easier access to the canal path for SUNY Brockport students.  

“You could stand up on the bridge and watch as the boats go underneath,” Andriatch said. “It will really dress up that part of the campus as well.”  

There is no set start date for the bridge project, as the bridge designs are still being finalized. The end date to build the bridge is set to be in 2024.  

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