Good Question: Is there a permanent fix for the O’Rorke Bridge?

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ROCHESTER N.Y. (WHEC) — Let’s answer a good question about a problem that just won’t go away.

Time and time again, there are issues with the O’Rorke Bridge, the main traffic artery for drivers passing from Charlotte to Irondequoit and vice versa.

If they keep having issues with it, what’s the fix?

Stan is one driver who reached out:

  • “In the past few years, the eastbound lane has been closed for months at a time due to high winds. It is closed again. How long will it remain broken?”

That is a very good question. One that doesn’t have a completely clear answer at the moment. I’ll explain in just a second. But first, a little bit of background.

Yes, the bridge is under repair now. The state Department of Transportation manages the draw bridge and has one lane blocked off. It’s been that way for a few weeks problems with the gates after a wind storm.

We’ve done many stories in years past with similar, even complete shutdowns due to wind damage or electrical problems.

Look, we get it. You can’t account for everything that might pop up, like a maintenance issue.

But what about weather? We know wind has been and will be a problem going forward for the gates. Is there a better, permanent solution?I asked the state DOT. I’m told:

  • "The gate system on the O’Rorke Bridge was damaged during a recent high wind event, necessitating the ongoing lane restrictions. The State Department of Transportation is expediting repairs and is also exploring options to further enhance the mechanism’s resiliency."

That’s a similar response we’ve gotten before. The DOT has even looked around at other draw bridges statewide to see what’s done in other places to perhaps bring that fix here.

We’re just obviously not there yet, meaning delays and frustrations will continue for some 17,000 drivers in cars and trucks that pass over the bridge each day.