BLISS — A local highway has reopened to traffic following the removal of an old railroad overpass.
The bridge over Route 362 was struck three times by vehicles in a single evening on Sept. 24.
The span was first struck by a backhoe, causing damage and knocking it slightly out of place.
The highway was closed for several hours and was then reopened, only for the bridge to be struck by a tractor-trailer and recreational vehicle. The bridge’s shifted position contributed to the accidents.
Route 362 was then closed at the bridge, with its northern and southern portions open to local traffic only.
The bridge’s abutments would remain for now and the state Department of Transportation is reportedly looking to remove them possibly next year.
The overpass been out of service for about 30 years. It was originally located on the Buffalo Rochester & Pittsburg railroad route from Rochester south to Ashford Junction in Cattaraugus County.
The bridge was later owned by the Chessie System and ultimately became part of the Rochester & Southern railroad in 1985.
The last trains crossed over it about 1990. The line was then abandoned from Silver Springs to Machias and the rails were removed shortly afterward.
Route 362 is short state highway connecting routes 39 and 78 in Wyoming County.