Friday, August 22, 2014

Wanakena Footbridge Replacement Fundraising Underway

Wanakena Ice Jam BridgeSeveral nonprofits from across the Adirondack region have partnered to raise  funds to rebuild the historic and iconic Wanakena Footbridge in the Clifton-Fine community. The suspension bridge was destroyed in January, 2014 when an ice jam on the Oswegatchie River broke and slammed into its side.

Built in 1902 by the Rich Lumber Company, the footbridge provided pedestrian access to residential and commercial areas of Wanakena. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999. Estimates put the full cost of construction at $250,000.

The Wanakena Historical Association has already raised nearly $38,000, but to extend the campaign’s, reach the Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) has partnered with other local nonprofits to establish an online Adirondack Gives crowdfunding effort.   The Wanakena Footbridge campaign can be found on the Adirondack Gives website.

Contributions to the Adirondack Gives effort are tax deductible and will serve as matching funds for grant proposals seeking the majority of reconstruction costs.

Wanakena Foot Bridge c 1903In additional to the online fundraising, checks may be sent to the Wanakena Historical Association Bridge Fund at PO Box 73, Wanakena, NY 13695 or to ANCA at 67 Main Street, Suite 201, Saranac Lake, NY 12983.

Joining ANCA in the crowdfunding effort are Adirondack Foundation, Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH), and Traditional Arts in Upstate New York (TAUNY).   For more information about the crowdfunding campaign to rebuild the Wanakena Footbridge, contact Caitlin Wargo at ANCA: (518) 891-6200 or

For more information about the Wanakena Footbridge and the reconstruction effort, contact Wanakena Historical Association president Marsha Smith at (315) 848-2848 or

Photos: Above, the damaged bridge; below, a c. 1904 view of the bridge (photos courtesy the Wanakena Historical Association).



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Community news stories come from press releases and other notices from organizations, businesses, state agencies and other groups. Submit your contributions to Almanack Editor Melissa Hart at

2 Responses

  1. S. Simpson says:

    Will the new bridge be a better design that’s not as vulnerable to knock-down by ice jam again?

  2. Bill Ott says:

    Below is a link to a January article from the Daily Courier-Observer. It outlines the main concerns for replacing the bridge, including provisions for future ice jams.

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