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The Henry Hudson Bridge is a steel arch toll bridge in New York City across the Spuyten Duyvil Creek. It connects the Spuyten Duyvil section of The Bronx with the northern end of Manhattan to the south. On the Manhattan side, it touches Inwood Hill Park. The bridge was designed by David B. Steinman (in realization of his Ph.D. thesis in civil engineering at Columbia University in 1911) and was the longest plate girder arch and fixed arch bridge in the world when it opened in 1936. The bridge was named to commemorate the voyage of Henry Hudson on the Half Moon, which anchored near the site in 1609.
The bridge has two roadway levels carrying an aggregate of seven traffic lanes and a pedestrian walkway and spans Spuyten Duyvil Creek just east of where the tidal strait meets the Hudson River. The bridge is part of the Henry Hudson Parkway placarded as New York State Route 9A. To its west, at five feet above water level, is the Spuyten Duyvil Bridge, which is used by Amtrak trains heading to Albany, New York and other points north. The Spuyten Duyvil Metro-North station is located under the bridge on the Bronx side.
View from a boat looking west, towards the Hudson River and the Palisades
A bridge at this location was proposed as early as 1906, but Spuyten Duyvil residents and other civic groups opposed the bridge, arguing that it would destroy the virgin forest of Inwood Hill Park and bring traffic congestion to the communities on the Bronx side of the river. Meanwhile, Robert Moses preferred the route along the Hudson River because he was able to receive the land to build the Henry Hudson Parkway at no cost and use federal labor to construct the parkway. The construction of the bridge helped open the Riverdale neighborhood to development.
The original single-deck structure was built for the Henry Hudson Parkway Authority by the American Bridge Company at a cost of $4,949,000 and opened to traffic on December 12, 1936. The upper level of the bridge was designed to be added at a later date and opened to traffic on May 7, 1938. The second deck was added an additional cost of approximately $2,000,000, after increasing toll revenues enabled its construction.
The bridge is owned by New York City and operated by the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, an affiliate agency of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. A rehabilitation project commenced in 2000 and is being carried out by Steinman, Boynton, Gronquist and Birdsall a successor firm of Robinson & Steinman, the firm that originally designed and engineered the bridge.
On July 12, 2009, the crossing charge for a two-axle passenger vehicle is $3.00 charged in each direction, with a $.91 discount for E-ZPass users. About 75,000 vehicles per day use the bridge. Current traffic alignment is northbound on the three-lane upper deck and southbound on the four-lane lower deck.
In January 2010, the MTA announced that it is planning to implement a pilot program on the Henry Hudson Bridge to phase out toll booths and use open road tolling. Drivers without E-ZPass would be sent a bill in the mail.
The Columbia "C" rock is located near the bridge. David Steinman's doctoral thesis in civil engineering at Columbia University was on a design for the Henry Hudson Bridge.
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