View Full Version : Two cable-stayed bridges in Manhattan

November 20th, 2002, 12:12 PM
The Intrepid Museum Bridge will be only the second cable-stayed bridge ever constructed in Manhattan.

The Navy airplane on the deck of Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum and the view of AOL Time Warner Center (http://www.wirednewyork.com/aol/default.htm) from Pier 84. 17 November 2002. Also, construction of the pedestrian bridge across the West Side Highway at West 46th Street continues (see press release below).



May 24, 2001

Bridge To Connect Intrepid Museum & Hudson River Park

Governor George E. Pataki today announced the State Department of Transportation (DOT) this summer will begin construction of an $8.6 million pedestrian bridge across the West Side Highway (Route 9A) at West 46th Street in Manhattan -- providing safer, more convenient access to the Intrepid Museum and the Hudson River Waterfront.

"The Intrepid Museum Bridge will connect the east side of the West Side Highway with the wonderful existing and future attractions lining the Hudson River Park," Governor Pataki said. "This new bridge will make it easier and safer for New Yorkers and tourists to have better access to the Hudson River Waterfront, which we are transforming into a wonderful park. The bridge's airy design is the perfect complement to New York's great national treasure and landmark, the Intrepid."

The Intrepid Museum Bridge will be only the second cable-stayed bridge ever constructed in Manhattan. The new bridge will link the east side of 46th Street along the West Side Highway with its west side, where the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum sits along with many other waterside amenities and facilities.

Senator Roy Goodman said, "The Governor's announcement of this pedestrian bridge is wonderful news for the legions of New Yorkers who wish to enjoy the Hudson River facilities now being transformed into superb park land."

Assemblyman John Ravitz said, "This plan will continue to help us strive to make certain parts of New York City more accessible to city residents and visitors all over the world. The Intrepid Museum and the Hudson River Park are one of our city's 'jewels.' I congratulate the Governor on his vision for this project."

State Transportation Commissioner Joseph H. Boardman said, "I am extremely proud this collaborative effort, which has the support and enthusiasm of all who participated. As the Governor's vision for a Hudson River Park is realized, DOT will continue to enhance access to the magnificent treasure forming along Manhattan's Hudson River Waterfront."

President and CEO of the Hudson River Park Trust, Robert Balachandran said, "The Governor's vision for a west side that all New Yorkers can be proud of is coming true. The Intrepid Museum Bridge is a harbinger of the wonderful things to come as construction of the Hudson River Park continues towards completion."

The work will include construction of a new bus drop-off area with access to the bridge via steps and ramps on the east side of the road and will connect with the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum's new building and elevators on the west side of the road.

The bridge will improve safety for pedestrians accessing the Hudson River Park, the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum, Circle Line and the other facilities along the waterfront. The design of the bridge in such a complex corridor had to accommodate many interests, including those of Hudson River Park Trust, the Intrepid, the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the community.

The bridge will be constructed of steel, spanning 277 feet in length, with its central tower reaching a height of 59 feet. Tensioned fabric coverings, reminiscent of a ship's sails, will provide shade over the ramps leading to the bridge. The bridge is expected to serve nearly 1,000 people a day.

Construction on the bridge is expected to begin early summer and be completed by Fall 2002.

November 20th, 2002, 12:23 PM
First cable-stayed pedestrian bridge in New York City connecting dormitories to main campus, spanning busy 63rd Street entrance to the FDR Drive.


Rockefeller University Bridge & Plaza
ARCHITECT: Wendy Evans Joseph Architect, NYC
STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Weidlinger Associates, NYC
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT: Thomas Balsley Associates, NYC
STEEL FABRICATOR & ERECTOR: ADF Inc., Terrebonne, Quebec
MARBLE CONTRACTOR: Liberty Marble Inc.
CONSTRUCTION MANAGER: Turner Construction Co., NYC
OWNER: The Rockefeller University, NYC

The $1.9 million Rockefeller University is located over 63rd Street. Steel was chosen over concrete so the bridge could be shallow so it would not visually impact on cars turning from 63rd Street to the FDR Drive.

The bridge features a 120-ft. main span and a 60-ft. back span. The main span is supported by galvanized steel cables attached to rock at 23-ft. intervals.

The cable-stayed design eliminates the need for deep girders and supports that would have blocked views of the East River. The design includes a V-shaped, 80-ft.-high tower consisting of steel plates that were welded in semicircles to create a smooth visual look.

The bridge's main span was fabricated in Canada, then trucked to a site in New Jersey where utility components were added. The main span was then shipped intact to the site and erected at night using a 500-ton crane and a tightly choreographed construction sequence devised by the project's construction manager.

Passing the cables through the tower was a challenge since the tapered legs converge to a sharp point 2 ft. wide. The very narrow iron saddle piece inside the tower features a complicated three-dimensional geometry. It is turned on its side and shaped into a half-rectangular, half-circular piece. The curvature was required for erection and stabilization of the bridge. The length of the cable was also an issue since tolerance was half an inch for the cables, which are 200 ft. to 600 ft. in length.

To reduce the weight on the building below, heavy plaza structures are supported on foundations of Styrofoam concrete sandwiches. The weather-protecting canopy of glass and stainless steel that connects the buildings was built up out of thin steel plates to minimize the sections and reduce wind loads.

The jury said the cantilevered, cable-stayed bridge was an "innovative solution" to the challenge of providing easier access by Rockefeller University residents to the main campus. They also called the design "elegant" and praised the project team for the choreographed construction sequence developed to erect the main span.

November 20th, 2002, 12:27 PM

The Campus Community Bridge in honor of Torsten Wiesel
New York City

Photography © Wyatt Gallery Photography

Welcoming bridge boosts safety

After a series of accidents injured residents of a high-rise apartment building serving Rockefeller University in New York City, officials recognized that they needed a bridge to get residents over the traffic swarming on and off a highway that separated the building from the campus.

Wendy Evans Josephs, in getting acquainted with the university president emeritus Torsten Wiesel, learned that he had rejected a bridge design that circled a neighboring building, making it too costly to build. She sketched a cable-stayed alternative, suspending the bridge deck from a single pier and mast, which avoided disrupting traffic during construction and relocating a maze of underground utilities. It didn’t rely on the adjacent buildings for support—they didn’t have the capacity. She submitted her idea unsolicited. Urged to develop it, she and joint venture partner Weidlinger Associates, structural engineers, eventually built it for one fourth the rejected design’s estimate.

From the apartments, Josephs routed the new pedestrian path through a laboratory building, linking it to a reworked plaza and entrance to another long-neglected complex of lab buildings. The rails and bridge deck were slimmed to keep vistas to the East River unblocked, and campus steam lines and utilities were extended under the walking deck, freeing the apartment building of costly vendor-supplied heat. The utility savings alone will pay for the cost of the bridge in just a few years. No one has to dodge cars and trash bins to enter the campus anymore. The elegance of the bridge and campus entrance now aids recruitment.

November 21st, 2002, 02:08 AM
Edward - thanx. I love these type of bridges. I wonder what the maintenance record will be on these over the coming years. Lord knows that New York City has enough old bridges to keep up with!

June 15th, 2003, 12:10 AM
May 17, 2003

No More Mad Dashes to Get to the Intrepid

A newly built pedestrian bridge over the West Side Highway at 46th Street is set to open this month, providing the only unimpeded access to the Hudson River from Midtown Manhattan.

Arching over eight lanes of traffic, the bridge is an $11 million state project planned with the Hudson River Park Trust and the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum. It begins at a construction site on the highway's east side, provides access to a second-floor museum entrance and, down a separate stairway, to the narrow band of Hudson River Park below.

The project, a year behind schedule, has been delayed by construction problems. But now, as the bridge is about to open, officials say it should ease a bottleneck of cars, trucks, walkers, joggers, bicyclists and in-line skaters at what has become one of the most congested crossroads along the Hudson River waterfront. Circle Line tour boats and several food concessions will also be served by the bridge.

Currently, there is just a crosswalk painted on the highway. Maybe there should be a sign reading Step Lively. "It is a death-defying feat to cross," said Col. Tom L. Tyrrell, a retired marine and executive director of the Intrepid museum. "If you are an able-bodied jogger you can probably make it, but if you are holding the hand of a 3-year-old, you are in trouble."

The bridge was planned in the late 90's, as the blighted Hudson River waterfront gained biking paths and walkways as part of Hudson River Park. Tour buses that had dropped visitors at the front door of the Intrepid museum were no longer able to do so, since their access was blocked by the new bike path, and state transportation planners deemed a pedestrian walkway the best solution to the problem.

"We wanted a culturally significant attraction, a signature bridge," said Jennifer Nelson, a spokeswoman for the State Department of Transportation. The bridge is strung from cables, making it appear to be a miniature version of a suspension bridge.

But the state's ambitions in bridge design led to problems. Workers hit bedrock when they sank pilings, and steel railings had to be returned and recast. Industrial contamination still has to be removed from what will be the tour-bus parking area. It will eventually have spaces for 13 buses, but it remains unclear when it will open.

Officials of the museum plannedan opening ceremony for the bridge for next Tuesday, and had invited Gov. George E. Pataki. But a spokeswoman for the governor, Mollie Fullington, said legislative activity in Albany would probably prevent him from attending, and Colonel Tyrrell said the opening date would now depend on the governor's schedule.

By providing better pedestrian access, Colonel Tyrrell said, the bridge will help the Intrepid museum attract more city residents. "One of our main goals is to attract more New Yorkers and their kids," he said. Attendance at the museum has remained stable at about 600,000 a year, with most visitors coming from outside the city.

The bridge is opening at a time when other large investments are being made in the museum's collection of retired warships and military aircraft to repair sections of Pier 86, where the collection is moored, and to create new exhibitions.

Colonel Tyrrell said the privately supported museum, created in 1982 largely through the philanthropy of Zachary Fisher, a New York City builder, has new commitments of $20 million in city, state and federal grants over three years. One of the first new exhibitions to open later this year will be called "The Kamikaze Experience." On Nov. 25, visitors to the Intrepid will participate in a simulation of the sights and sounds of Nov. 25, 1944, when 69 men aboard the Intrepid, then on active war duty, were killed in kamikaze attacks.

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

June 15th, 2003, 12:22 AM


June 15th, 2003, 08:38 AM
I don't mind the odd shape, but it looks like a rather sloppy job. Hopefully they will do better with the much larger projected one in the Bronx.

Freedom Tower
August 5th, 2003, 01:10 PM
Is that open to the public yet? Or are they still finishing it up?

Because last time I went it still wasnt open.

(Edited by Freedom Tower at 1:11 pm on Aug. 5, 2003)

March 14th, 2004, 12:20 AM
13 March 2004, with Intrepid in the background.


March 14th, 2004, 12:36 AM
That's a pretty picture.

March 14th, 2004, 01:52 AM
I drive past this area often, and I rarely see anyone use the bridge. Why walk up and over when you can just walk across?

March 14th, 2004, 06:17 AM
If you want to see the bridge in use, drive by when tour buses discharge passengers. Along with the bridge, a bus parking lot was built on the east side of Rt 9A. In the past, pedestrians crossing 9A would block right turns from the ship terminal, and clog the bike route.

Now the buses are off the street, and the passengers can cross directly into the Intrepid.

April 3rd, 2004, 06:31 PM
Rockefeller University Bridge


April 4th, 2004, 12:44 AM
Fine bridge. The span's bifurcation reflects the tower's.

April 4th, 2004, 01:07 AM
A well-chosen word, Christian, that perfectly illustrates the poetry of the bridge. However, I needed to consult my dictionary for fear that I had overlooked something and was witnessing an unnatural act illegal in most states. :wink: