3 votes

Frederick Douglass Susan B. Anthony Memorial Bridge


Aerial view of bridge and city skyline

Photo courtesy of Stratus Imaging Low Altitude Photography, Rochester, NY

BH Photo #373624


Although first conceived in 1929, it was not until 1955 when a new bridge was built across the Genesee River in Rochester, New York. Constructed as a 6 lane urban boulevard, the bridge connected Troup Street to the west and Howell Street to the east. Troup Street was named after Robert Troup, a New York lawyer who became a land agent. Howell Street was named after Nathaniel Howell a Judge and eminent Canandaiguan who served as legal advisory to early land companies. Both streets still exist.

Eventually the eastern approach was upgraded as the Inner Loop was constructed and the eastern I-490 completed provided access from the New York State Thruway connection in Victor.

From 1971-1973, the bridge was widened to carry 8 lanes and be reconfigured as a limited access expressway, complete the Inner Loop and provide a western I490 connection to the New York State Thruway in LeRoy. During construction, the roadway was closed to traffic for two years. The pedestrian sidewalk, originally built in 1955, was removed.

The original bridge crossed a jumble of service roads, rail yards and even the old subway bed. Part of the bridge actually formed the roof of a railroad shed. By the late 70’s most of the lands under the bridge were cleared as the railroads shutdown. River access was limited.

From 2004-2007, the bridge was replaced with a three rib, steel true arch bridge. The design included much input from a community-based Aesthetics Committee. The Committee suggested several of the design details that would add visual interest to the arch span. Ideas included the arrangement of the cross braces to create a clean open look, modifications to the arch ribs to appear trapezoidal in shape the fanned arrangement of the cables rather than vertical, shaped floor beams with bull noses and the color scheme of the bridge. River trail access was restored and enhanced. The bridge remained open to traffic while it was replaced. It was constructed in three stages to minimize travel impacts starting from the bottom up. The foundations were built the first year underneath and next to the existing bridge. The second year, one half of the bridge demolished and replaced while the other half carried four lanes of traffic. The majestic arches were constructed over the top of the existing bridge. The third year, the opposite half was replaced followed by construction of the floor system. The bridge opened to traffic in June 2007.

On July 13, 2007, the bridge was renamed the Frederick Douglass Susan B. Anthony Memorial Bridge at a community celebration at the site of the new bridge. The Bridge has become an iconic structure for Rochester, N.Y. appearing in many local advertisements, logos for many organizations and companies and highlighted as the postcard view of the City. Frederick Douglass was an African-American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman and spent much of his life in Rochester. Susan B. Anthony dedicated her life to woman's suffrage and helped to secure a woman's right to vote, unfortunately after she had passed away. She spent her entire adult life in Rochester. Both Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony, who were good friends, are buried in Rochester.


Steel through arch bridge over Genesee River/Exchange Blvd. on I-490/Inner Loop
Rochester, Monroe County, New York
Open to traffic
Conceived 1929; built 1955; widened 1972; replaced 2007
- Bergmann Associates (Construction Inspection)
- Comet Flasher (Traffic Control)
- DiFiore Construction (Highway Work)
- Dunn Engineering (ITS Components)
- Edward Kraemer & Sons, Inc. of Plain, Wisconsin (Prime Contractor)
- Erdman, Anthony and Associates
- Fisher Associates (Inspection)
- H2L2 Infrastructure (Architects)
- Hatch, Mott, McDonald, (Construction Inspection)
- High Steel Structures, Inc. of Lancaster, Pennsylvania (Steel Fabrication)
- Lu Engineers (Structural Detailing)
- New York State Fence (Fencing)
- Northern Stud Welding
- Nothnagel Enterprises
- O'Connell Electric (Electrical)
- Ravi Engineering of Rochester, New York (Construction Inspection)
- Upstate Detailing (Steel Detailing)
Steel through arch
3 Member Steel Arch Bridge with Cable Supported Deck
True Arch (untied)
Length of largest span: 463.0 ft.
Total length: 1,165.0 ft.
Deck width: 121.4 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 25.1 ft.
Also called
Troop Howell Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+43.15126, -77.60909   (decimal degrees)
43°09'05" N, 77°36'33" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/287854/4780917 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Rochester East
528 ft. above sea level
Inventory number
BH 74865 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • February 21, 2017: New photo from Dana and Kay Klein
  • December 23, 2016: Added by Howard Ressel



Frederick Douglass Susan B. Anthony Memorial Bridge
Posted November 30, 2020, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

Do we really want to document and have one off categories for so many of the companies that were involved with this project? Do we need to know who supplied the temporary construction fencing or the traffic control flashers?

Frederick Douglass Susan B. Anthony Memorial Bridge
Posted November 29, 2020, by Tyler

Im guessing that “New York State Fence” supplied the fencing for the construction site.