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Bridge Facts

Crossing

East River at Hell Gate

Engineer

Gustav Lindenthal

Completed

1916

Span

977 feet / 298 meters

Materials

Steel

Type

Arch

Interesting Fact

Longest steel arch span 1916-31

 

 

 

 

Hell Gate Bridge is a New York extension of the Pennsylvania Railroad.  It was a huge project and cost a lot of money but it connected the line to New England.  Also, when built, it was the longest steel arch span bridge until 1931.  The Hell Gate Bridge is connected to two additional bridges including the Little Hell Gate Bridge, a truss, and the Bronx Kill Bridge, a bascule.  The Hell Gate Bridge is the most important of the three bridges that stretched 5.1 kilometers; including a series of viaducts and over passes.  It is an interesting design and it was named after the Hell Gate, the name given by Dutch sailors to the narrow, dangerous channel between Astoria, Queens, and Ward’s Island.  It is said by David P. Billington that, “the confrontation of rail and city posed one of the major technical and aesthetic puzzles of the Industrial Revolution….. [The] Hell Gate Bridge….. symbolized the era with all its pretension, ambiguity, and power.” Personally, I think this bridge was a great achievement for its time and it is an unappreciated work of art and workmanship.

 

References:

Book: Bridges by Judith Dupre. Copyright 1997 by Judith Dupre and Black Dog &

Leventhal Publishers, Inc.

Internet: http://www.oldnyc.com/bayridge/hellgate/hellgate.html

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