By Chelsea L. Brown
FAIRPORT, N.Y. – Fairport residents have been waiting for the historic lift bridge on Main Street to reopen since September 2019 when it was closed for repairs. While the community has adjusted to new traffic patterns and walking routes established by the Village of Fairport, the presence of a second construction site further disrupts the village.
Earlier this year, local real estate development company Riedman Companies began construction of a condominium located on Parker Street which directly conflicts with the lift bridge detour route approved by Fairport Village. The detour directs vehicles and foot traffic down Liftbridge Lane, onto Parker Street, and over the Parker Street bridge. Historic in its own right, the Parker Street bridge is a small, one lane bridge spanning over the Erie Canal.
Caren Herman, a Fairport resident living directly across Parker Street from the construction site says it is dangerous for those walking.
“This is a very busy stretch for people walking, especially now that the lift bridge is closed,” Herman said. “The guys working on the condo don’t seem to care that they are making it unsafe for people walking by.”
Construction crews have even parked their vehicles on top of Parker Street’s only sidewalk, forcing pedestrians to walk into oncoming traffic. This proves to be especially problematic considering Fairport Village established Parker Street as the sole walking detour around the closed lift bridge. This detour is denoted by a blue symbol and Fairport logo painted onto the sidewalk along the pre-established walking path.
In addition to safety issues, the Riedman construction site has also caused problems for those living nearby. Construction vehicles and equipment are parked daily along both Parker Street and Liftbridge Lane, making it difficult for residents to find parking spots and sometimes blocking vehicles in.
“I get home from work around 3 p.m. and I haven’t been able to park in front of my own apartment since this whole condo build started,” Liftbridge Lane resident Gage Peffers said. “It’s not just trucks, it’s full excavators, sometimes equipment trucks that stay running all day in front of my porch.”
Aside from the safety concerns and complaints from residents, some wonder how the Parker Street bridge itself will be impacted.
“I was already worried about the [Parker Street] bridge needing to be fixed because of the extra traffic from the lift bridge being closed,” said Parker Street resident Cathy Vicker. “Now there’s dump trucks and cranes going over it all the time. The last thing I want to deal with is even more construction in Fairport.”
According to Riedman Companies the construction on Parker Street is behind schedule due to COVID-19 and is not projected to be completed until 2021.