Hell Gate Bridge


Hell Gate Bridge
Hell Gate Bridge

Hell Gate Bridge
Carries Amtrak Northeast Corridor rail line (2 tracks); CSX Transportation/Canadian Pacific (Delaware & Hudson) freight rail line (1 track)
Crosses Hell Gate of the East River
Locale Queens and the Bronx in New York City via Randall's and Wards Islands
Maintained by Amtrak
Design Through arch bridge
Total length 17,000 feet (3.2 mi; 5.2 km)
Width 100 feet (30.5 m)
Longest span 1,017 feet (310 m)
Clearance below 135 feet (41.1 m))
Opened September 30, 1916; 95 years ago (September 30, 1916)
Coordinates 40°46′58″N 73°55′19″W / 40.782652°N 73.921937°W / 40.782652; -73.921937Coordinates: 40°46′58″N 73°55′19″W / 40.782652°N 73.921937°W / 40.782652; -73.921937
Hell Gate Bridge is located in New York City

The Hell Gate Bridge or Hell's Gate Bridge (originally the New York Connecting Railroad Bridge[1] or The East River Arch Bridge[2]) is a 1,017-foot (310 m) steel through arch railroad bridge between Astoria in the borough of Queens and Randall's and Wards Islands (which are now joined into one island and are politically part of Manhattan) in New York City, over a portion of the East River known as Hell Gate.

The Hell Gate Bridge runs parallel to the Queens span of the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, which connects Queens, the Bronx, and Manhattan, and drivers can see the length of the bridge just east of the roadway.

The great arch bridge is the largest of three bridges, along with more than 17,000 feet (3.2 mi; 5.2 km) long of approach spans and viaducts, that form the Hell Gate complex. An inverted bowstring truss bridge with four 300-foot (91.4 m) spans crosses the Little Hell Gate (now filled in); and a 350-foot (106.7 m) fixed truss bridge crosses the Bronx Kill (now narrowed by fill).

This bridge was the inspiration for the design of Sydney Harbour Bridge in Sydney, Australia.[3]

Contents

History

The bridge was conceived in the early 1900s as a way to link New York and the Pennsylvania Railroad with New England and the New Haven Railroad.

Hell Gate Bridge, ca. 1917
Hell Gate bridge under construction circa 1915

Construction was overseen by Gustav Lindenthal, whose original design left a gap of 15 feet (4.6 m) between the steel arch and the masonry towers. Fearing that the public assumed that the towers were structurally integral to the bridge, Lindenthal added aesthetic girders between the upper chord of the arch and the towers to make the structure appear more robust.[4] The original plans for the piers on the long approach ramps called for a steel lattice structure. The design was changed to smooth concrete to soothe concerns that asylum inmates on Wards and Randall's islands would climb the piers to escape.[4]

The engineering was so precise that when the last section of the main span was lifted into place, the final adjustment needed to join everything together was 12 inches (12.7 mm). The bridge was completed on September 30, 1916.

It was the world's longest steel arch bridge until the Bayonne Bridge was opened in 1931, and was surpassed again by the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1932.

In 1996, the bridge received a facelift, including its first comprehensive paint job in 80 years. It was painted "Hell Gate Red," a dark, natural red. The bridge would be the last New York City bridge to collapse if humans disappeared, taking at least a millennium to do so, according to the February 2005 issue of Discover magazine. Most other bridges would fall in about 300 years. [5]

Truss bridge over Bronx Kill
The approach to Hell Gate bridge under construction circa 1915.
This photograph appears to have been taken from the top of the north tower of the Hell Gate Bridge itself. The view looks north toward the construction site of the bridge over Little Hell Gate (location: [1], 2007 photo: [2]), which forms part of the northern approach to the Hell Gate Bridge proper.


Usage

Past

The bridge originally carried four tracks, two each for passenger and freight, but one freight track was abandoned in the mid-1970s. At one time, all tracks were electrified with the NH-PRR standard 11 kV 25 Hz overhead catenary; the passenger tracks since 1917, and the freight tracks from 1927 to 1969.

Current

The bridge is used by Amtrak and by some CSX, Canadian Pacific, Providence & Worcester Railroad, and New York and Atlantic freight trains. The Metro-North Railroad's Train to the Game services (Operated by New Jersey Transit, from main stations on the New Haven Line to Secaucus Junction) also use the bridge since September, 2009 on every Sunday 1pm NFL game.[6] The bridge and structure are owned by Amtrak, part of its Washington, D.C. to Boston electrified main line known as the Northeast Corridor. The bridge is also part of the New York Connecting Railroad, a rail line that links New York City and Long Island to the North American mainland.

Proposed

In September 2009, the Metro-North Commuter Railroad revived its planning efforts aimed at using the Hell Gate Bridge to connect its New Haven Line to Penn Station.[7] Such a service would terminate at Penn Station on platforms freed up by the planned completion of the Long Island Rail Road's East Side Access project scheduled for completion in 2016. The environmental assessment and a Penn Station operations study are planned for completion in 2011.[7]

See also

References

External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Hell Gate Bridge — 40.7825 73.922222222222 Koordinaten: 40° 46′ 57″ N, 73° 55′ 20″ W f1 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Hell Gate Bridge — 40° 46′ 58″ N 73° 55′ 19″ W / 40.7827, 73.9219 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Hell Gate — is a narrow tidal strait in the East River in New York City in the United States. It separates Astoria, Queens from Randall s Island / Ward s Island (formerly two separate islands that are now joined by landfill).Kenneth T. Jackson: The… …   Wikipedia

  • Gate bridge — may refer to: *The Golden Gate Bridge, a suspension bridge in San Francisco, United States *The Hell Gate Bridge, a steel arch in New York City, United States *The Lions Gate Bridge, a suspension bridge in British Columbia, Canada *The McKay… …   Wikipedia

  • Hell Gate — Das Hell Gate im Jahr 1991 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Golden Gate Bridge — 37.817597222222 122.4783 Koordinaten: 37° 49′ 3,3″ N, 122° 28′ 41,9″ W f1 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Golden Gate Bridge — Carries 6 lanes of …   Wikipedia

  • Golden Gate Bridge — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Golden Gate (homonymie). Golden Gate Bridge Pays …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Puente Hell Gate — Hell Gate Bridge. El Puente Hell Gate (en inglés Hell Gate Bridge) es un puente ferroviario que atraviesa el East River en Nueva York. De una longitud de 310 m y constituido por un arco de acero, este puente conecta Queens en las Randall s Island …   Wikipedia Español

  • Little Hell Gate — was a waterway in New York City, New York, USA. It passed between Randall s Island and Ward s Island, near the confluence of the Harlem River and East River.The east end of Little Hell Gate opened into the Hell Gate passage, of the East River,… …   Wikipedia


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