Wednesday, November 24, 2010
University Heights Bridge, November 24, 2010
Dave Cox, Rob Hickman, Keith Nelson
From the New York City Department of Transportation:
The University Heights Bridge connects West 207th Street in the Inwood section of Manhattan and West Fordham Road in the University Heights section of the Bronx. This swing type bridge is located one mile south of the Broadway Bridge and approximately two miles north of the Washington and Alexander Hamilton Bridges. It carries two lanes of traffic in each direction and one sidewalk.
The site of the present bridge was originally occupied by a single-draw, wooden trestle footbridge, erected in 1891 and removed soon afterward. The current bridge opened at its new location in 1908 and cost $1,182,782; as the old Broadway Bridge was being replaced, it was floated downstream to be given a new life as the University Heights Bridge. The bridge allowed access to the Fordham Landing, and eliminated the grade crossing at Fordham Landing Road. Shortly after the opening, railroad tracks were added and the operating machinery's steam-powered motor was replaced by an electric one. The swing span was replaced by a new one in 1992.
The University Heights Bridge crosses the Harlem River, connecting West 207th Street in the Inwood neighborhood of Manhattan to West Fordham Road in the University Heights section of the Bronx. The bridge is operated and maintained by the New York City Department of Transportation. The bridge carries two lanes of traffic in each direction, along with a sidewalk on the south side of the bridge. It may have once carried the now-decommissioned New York State Route 9X.
The first swing bridge on this site had been a previous incarnation of the Broadway Bridge that was being replaced by a new double-level bridge. In June 1906, the old bridge was floated down the river and placed on a newly-constructed center pier. After all the approaches and other construction were completed, the bridge opened to traffic on January 8, 1908. The designer was Alfred Pancoast Boller.
A new bridge was constructed between 1989 and 1992 to replace the decaying previous structure. On June 12, 2008, the New York City Bridge Centennial Commission organized a parade to mark the centennial anniversary of the bridge. The event was attended by Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión, Jr. and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.