WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (WETM) — The NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation announced today that the bridge near the Franklin Street entrance to the Watkins Glen State Park Gorge Trail will be closed for renovation this season.
A recently completed inspection of the bridge found that significant erosion of the native stone has compromised the integrity of bridge abutments and both ends of the 1930s bridge, known as the Sentry Bridge. New York State Parks is now proceeding with engineering and design to repair or replace the bridge.
According to the release, a temporary bridge will be installed in the coming weeks to ensure access to the gorge for the summer. The temporary bridge will be a 56-foot-wide aluminum truss bridge that will lay over the existing stone arch bridge. It is expected to be in place by early summer.
The gorge trail is expected to open by Memorial Day Weekend, but the NYS Office of Parks says visitors may need to use other points of entry until the temporary bridge is installed. New York State Parks says that visitors will need to use the Upper Entrance or the North or South Rim Trails to access lower portions of the Gorge Trail. Signage will be in place at the park to direct visitors.