Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Sunnyside Road Bridge Construction & Detour

Leaving the Village of Scotia via Sunnyside Rd.

Starting on Tuesday, September 2nd the Glenville section of Sunnyside Road will be closed to all but local traffic accessible from Freemans Bridge Rd.  Just inside the Village of Scotia the Sunnyside Road Bridge will be resurfaced and closed to all traffic.

Unlike recent construction on the Western Gateway Bridge to Schenectady, both lanes of the Sunnyside Rd Bridge will be closed to traffic. The closest access to Freemans Bridge Rd and routes to Alpaus or Schenectady will be via Route 50 and Dutch Meadow Lane.

Indicated in green on the Google map below are roads which will be open and provide a replacement route.  In red is the east end of Sunnyside Road which will be closed to all but local traffic. No vehicles will be able to cross where the bridge currently brings traffic over the railroad tracks used by Amtrak.  No exceptions, including emergency vehicles.



The Sunnyside Road Bridge as it currently appears when entering the Village of Scotia.  If your GPS bring you here during September and October 2014 turn around!

The Sunnyside Road bridge has been around for many years and passed over a major train yard called “Sandbank Yard” which has been documented  by our friend and Scotia-Glenville alumni, Steve Myers with his photos and many provided by Ed Wittekind a Union College student in the 40’s.

Growing up in the 60’s I remember calling it “Switcher Bridge”.  We would pack a lunch, ride our string ray bikes down to the bridge and watch as the trains changed to different rails.

While I am not looking forward to the closure for two months, it closed for almost two years when I was in high school.  The bridge had deteriorated and for safety the bridge was closed around Thanksgiving 1971.  It remained closed until August 29th, 2971.


The Village had expected some help financing the replacement of the bridge but according to then Rep Samuel S Stratton, the U.S. Transportation Department approved funding but it was held up by the state.. Apparently New York State  Transportation department officials were uncertain as to the  future of the Sandbank yard or any train traffic.  The Penn Central Railroad closed their Sandbank yard in 1978. Currently, the main rail activity is from Amtrak passenger service.

I can’t imagine what really held things up for two years. While, they weren’t the same tracks, one of the first railroads in the United States was nearby and used horses to pull the train cars across the bridge connecting Scotia and Schenectady Washington’s Avenues.


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