The Macombs Dam Bridge connects West 155th Street in Manhattan with East 161st Street and Jerome Avenue in the Bronx. It is a major route from Manhattan to Yankee Stadium. The major features crossed are Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard (Seventh Avenue,) the Harlem River Drive, the Harlem River, the Oak Point Link, and the Major Deegan Expressway. This landmark is the oldest extant swing-type bridge in its original form in New York City. Furthermore, it is the city's third-oldest major bridge. The mainline structure is a through-truss swing span. It was designated an official New York City landmark in January 1992. This bridge carries two lanes of traffic in each direction. The roadway (curb to curb) width on the swing span is about 12.19 m. The pedestrian sidewalk width varies from 1.83 m to 2.90 m.
The idea of constructing a bridge in its present location was initiated by Robert Macomb in 1810. The Legislature awarded Mr. Macomb the right to erect a dam; one-half of the toll for crossing the bridge was to be donated to the poor, and boats were to pass freely through a lock. The bridge was constructed in 1814. The new dam, however, proceeded to flood meadows upstream and obstruct boat navigation. In 1839 a group of citizens breached the dam with a coal-carrying vessel; this act was deemed legal by the courts, who maintained that "it was a public nuisance to obstruct the navigation." A new swing bridge was commissioned and opened in 1861 as the Central Bridge. This structure required many repairs and modifications due to rotting of the wooden components. In 1892 the Passaic Rolling Mill Company was awarded the contract for a new bridge, designed by Alfred P. Boller. This bridge officially opened in 1895, at a cost of $2,537,312. It was renamed the Macombs Dam Bridge in 1902. New ramp connections were constructed on the Bronx side in 1920, when Yankee Stadium was being built.
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Macombs Dam Bridge and Yankee Stadium.