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Ti bridge being restored

TICONDEROGA A historic landmark in Ticonderoga is getting a face lift. The Frazier Bridge, which crosses the LaChute River near Tower Avenue, is being reconstructed. Its one of the most historic bridges in New York State, certainly one of the oldest, Ti Supervisor Bob Dedrick said. Dedrick said the goal of the project is twofold to restore the bridge for continued use as a pedestrian walkway and to prevent its collapse into the LaChute. There has been a lot of erosion and deterioration over the years, Dedrick said. It needs a lot of work. The bridge is a double masonry arched bridge with a cast iron rail. The masonry arches on which the load of the bridge is carried can be seen from the both ends of the LaChute River Walk Trail, pointed out Sharon Reynolds, executive director of PRIDE of Ticonderoga. PRIDE has secured grant funding for the first phase of the restoration project. The bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. According to the recent Adirondack Architectural Heritage newsletter highlighting Adirondack bridges, the Frazier Bridge in Ticonderoga is among the oldest bridges in the world. According to Reynolds, a bridge was built on or about the site of the current Frazier Bridge in 1822. In 1836, B.F. Frazier ran a planing mill on the north side of the river above the falls, and in 1845 the same family opened a cabinet-making shop that was near the existing bridge. The present bridge takes its name from that enterprise. That bridge was replaced by a iron bridge in 1874. In early 1892, the iron bridge collapsed. A new stone bridge was constructed and opened in 1894. Local mill operators, including International Paper which purchased Ticonderoga Pulp and Paper Co. in 1925, continually used the bridge as a public means of transportation until 1959 when IP built Building Number 7 and closed North Main Street from Exchange Street to Burgoyne Road, Reynolds noted. From 1959 to 1972, the road was used as a footpath for mill workers. In 1972, International Paper built its present plant on Shore Airport Road and began demolition on all of the old mill buildings downtown. The Frazier Bridge has had little use since.

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