It’s not an 11’2″ clearance any more.

So yesterday, I drove up to Thatcher Park for some late Sunday afternoon photography adventures. Now to arrive at Thatcher Park from where I live, I would normally take I-90, get off at Exit 4, drive that long straightaway to pick up Route 85, drive through the old part of Slingerlands and into New Scotland.

But as I arrived at what would be my exit to Route 85, there were detour signs regarding a bridge repair.

A bridge repair? What could they possibly mean?

Okay, detour time. Drove down Cherry Avenue, right turn on Kenwood Avenue, take the detour to the old Toll Gate Ice Cream parlor –

And it was then that I saw what was meant by “bridge repair.”

The old D&H bridge that spanned New Scotland Road was gone. Torn down. Finished.

The bridge is completely gone.

The only remaining evidence that a railroad bridge once crossed this road was the remaining “11’2″ Clearance” sign.

Upon further study, I discovered that the bridge itself was in poor condition and would be replaced by a new bridge – one with at least a 15′ clearance over New Scotland Road. Seems that the old bridge took too many hits from trucks and other tall vehicles – and, with that 11’2″ clearance, it was difficult for the Slingerlands Fire Department to answer calls without re-routing their journey around the bridge area itself.

Aesthetically, I kinda miss that bridge. I really honestly do. I shouldn’t … but I do. It was a great photography subject, and I’d use it to test out any new camera purchases.

In 2021, after the bridge got socked multiple times by trucks that were taller than 11’2″, I tried to photograph the bridge a few more times.

I captured the bridge with my digital cameras, and with my film gear.

I captured its rustic beauty back when I was shooting with Kodachrome film …

And I also captured it in color infrared film.

Look, I totally get it. Nothing lasts forever. And the new bridge will benefit the Albany County Rail Trail, which has become wildly successful over the years. And vehicles can drive along New Scotland Road without fear of “sudden sunroof syndrome.”

It was nice while it lasted, I guess. I wish it didn’t have to go.

But in the end, I understand why it has to leave.