Wednesday, July 22, 2009

New York City's Bridges: Ward's Island Bridge

The Harlem River flows along the east side of Manhattan, north of Ward's Island. At the river's mouth is Ward's Island Bridge (sometimes referred to as the Harlem River Pedestrian Bridge), the only footbridge across the Harlem River. This rather spindly-looking structure was designed by Othmar Ammann in 1939, but because steel wasn't available until after the war, construction didn't begin until 1949.

It's a lift bridge with counterweights to raise the 330 ft long center span to the top of the towers. In fact, the bridge is only used from April to October and the center span is left in the raised position for the rest of the year.
The bridge consists of four ramps carrying pedestrians across FDR Drive on the Manhattan side, three spans across the Harlem River, and a gradual descent onto Ward's Island.

It has a modern, streamlined appearance, but because it is 937 ft long with tall towers and only 12 ft wide, it lacks a dramatic presence and appears flimsy.
Creative Commons License
New York City's Bridges: Ward's Island Bridge by Mark Yashinsky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

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