The Portage Viaduct, which lies directly behind Upper Falls, is a circa 1875 iron railroad bridge. The first bridge, built of wood, was constructed in 1851-52. It held the distinction of being the largest in the world when it was completed. The crossing burned in 1875 and was quickly replaced with an iron “fireproof” bridge.
Due to its age and weight restrictions, Norfolk Southern Railway is replacing the viaduct with a new steel arch bridge. To be built of Corten weathering steel, the new crossing is expected to provide a more scenic backdrop to Upper Falls.
The viewing area for Upper Falls can be accessed from the Gorge Trail on the west rim of the Genesee River.