Swing Bridge Being Dismantled

A crew dismantling the bridge
Oct. 25, 2012

Work has begun on dismantling the Hojack swing bridge that crosses the Genesee River at Charlotte. The bridge was built in 1905 by the King Bridge Co. of Cleveland, Ohio. It was made to take the Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg Railroad (RW & O) across the river. It turned in the middle to let the trains cross and then would turn again to let boat traffic go up the river.

Nobody is sure where the nickname; “Hojack” for this railroad line came from. There is a lot of speculation but no one is really sure of the real story.

The RW & O was acquired by the NY Central line in 1914 and changed hands a couple more times. The bridge is currently owned by CSX railroad. The bridge hasn’t been used since 1995. The US Coast Guard asked CSX to tear down the bridge at least ten years ago to facilitate better river traffic. Early this year, CSX tried to find someone who wanted the bridge but there wasn’t any takers. They will save some pieces of the bridge and give them to local historical societies. Original plaques and gears have been offered to organizations.

This bridge might not be the best looking bridge but it is unique. It is one of two that still exist in the US. The other similar bridge is in Cleveland.

Bridge in 2007. Notice the tracks visible on the deck.

Click on a photo to see a larger image.