View Full Version : The Hell Gate Bridge

May 1st, 2004, 06:57 PM
View from Astoria Park




Wired New York (http://www.wirednewyork.com/bridges/hell_gate_bridge/)

Metro NY Crossings (http://www.nycroads.com/crossings/hell-gate/)

Scientific American (http://www.catskillarchive.com/rrextra/brhellg.Html) 1907 article with renderings.

May 4th, 2004, 09:06 AM
she is a beauty-




more info-

BUT she doesn't compare to the Sydney Harbour Bridge!!!!!




May 4th, 2004, 10:36 AM
The genius of the Hell Gate Bridge lies in its massive yet dynamic arc, seemingly tossed up in the air by the towers and miraculously frozen. The Sydney Harbour Bridge's looks strained and lacks that grace.

TLOZ Link5
May 4th, 2004, 03:39 PM
Sorry to digress, but which bridge was finished first? Did they have the same architect?

May 4th, 2004, 05:56 PM
Gustav Lindenthal did not design the Sydney, which was built about 15 years after Hell Gate.

To me, the differences between the Hell Gate and the Sydney are comparable to the differences between the Bronx-Whitestone and the Verrazano-Narrows, both designed by Lindenthal's assistant, Othmar Ammann.



May 4th, 2004, 06:10 PM
I guess you get attached through familiarity. I always thought of the Hellgate as a rather odd little runt of a bridge, but it does have a certain delicacy the Sydney one lacks. However, I do love our coathager still the best...!


May 5th, 2004, 11:50 AM
Sydney Harbour Bridge 1932



Captain Francis De Groot caused controversy on the Opening Day of the Sydney Harbour Bridge on Saturday 19 March 1932 when he attempted to prevent Premier Lang from opening the Bridge.

De Groot, who was an active member of the Political Party - New Guard, believed that the only person to open a Bridge of such importance should be a member of the Royal family. He was dismayed when it was announced that Premier Lang would officially open the bridge.

In De Groot's attempt to stop Lang from opening the Bridge, he arrived at the ceremony on horseback and positioned himself quite close to where the ribbon had been stretched. Just prior to Premier Lang arriving, De Groot galloped forward and slashed the ribbon with his sword. He declared the Bridge open in the name of the "decent citizens of New South Wales".

Needless to say, De Groot was arrested and taken to a psychiatric hospital. He was later declared sane, but fined 5 pounds and charged for offensive behaviour in a public place.

After the De Groot incident, the ribbon was tied together, and the ceremony went ahead.

May 10th, 2004, 11:45 PM

those colorful pictures in your post where really nice....

Best I've seen for a while.... :lol:

Lauren Loves NY
May 11th, 2004, 12:59 AM

those colorful pictures in your post where really nice....

Exactly what I was about to say. I love that painted picture on the old postcard.

May 11th, 2004, 01:38 AM
Everytime I look at them - The color is just so amazing.... :shock:

December 14th, 2004, 09:39 PM
I live in Astoria in the shadow of the Hell Gate Bridge, and Astoria is the Hell Gate Bridge.

December 14th, 2004, 09:43 PM
Everytime I look at those pictures it's like I'm seeing them for the first time.....

The night pictures ---- The quality of the images and the color is amazing - wish they werent copyright protected.... :cry:

January 29th, 2006, 08:22 PM
what a beautiful bridge. Top 3 in the city. awe inspiring. the curve is perfect. the color- inspired.

March 20th, 2007, 11:58 PM
I live In Sydney, our coat hanger (Sydney harbour bridge) has just had its 75 birthday

Hells gate bridge was built by Gustave Lindenthal and finished on 30th September 1916

The SHB was built by John Bradfield but a lot of the Design was done by Ralp Freeman and is a copy of Hells gate it was finished on 19th March 1932 with the loss of 16 lives.

I seem to remember seeing a smaller bridge in the north of England built around 1880, but can not remember its name?

thanks Laurence

March 25th, 2007, 08:25 PM
laurence i think the bridge u are thinking of may be tyne bridge, newcastle upon tyne uk. it does have some similarities to hells gate and sydney harbour. it was completed 1928 which makes it younger than hells gate but 5 years older than sydney harbour.
i grew up in newcastle australia 1.5hrs nth of sydney and i have always loved the harbour bridge. i first (i think this is right) saw hells gate bridge in tom cruises war of the world and was amazed at the similarities to the SHB. I saw a news item the other day for the SHB 75th anniversary and it said contrary to popular belief that its design was borrowed from the tyne bridge, the SHB design was taken from hells gate.




March 25th, 2007, 09:25 PM
^ You get a picture with every bottle of Newcastle Brown.

(Look inside the star.)

May 22nd, 2007, 05:35 PM
I am new to NYC and live in the shadow of Hell Gate Bridge. I am wanting to cross it and was wondering if anyone can give info on how to get up into/onto it for film and photography.

May 22nd, 2007, 10:22 PM
Forget about it...

May 25th, 2009, 09:06 PM
View from the north (click thumb nails)...

http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd121/BrooklynRiderRob/th_DSCN0654.jpg (http://s220.photobucket.com/albums/dd121/BrooklynRiderRob/?action=view&current=DSCN0654.jpg)

http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd121/BrooklynRiderRob/th_DSCN0656.jpg (http://s220.photobucket.com/albums/dd121/BrooklynRiderRob/?action=view&current=DSCN0656.jpg)

http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd121/BrooklynRiderRob/th_DSCN0657.jpg (http://s220.photobucket.com/albums/dd121/BrooklynRiderRob/?action=view&current=DSCN0657.jpg)

http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd121/BrooklynRiderRob/th_DSCN0659.jpg (http://s220.photobucket.com/albums/dd121/BrooklynRiderRob/?action=view&current=DSCN0659.jpg)

http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd121/BrooklynRiderRob/th_DSCN0663.jpg (http://s220.photobucket.com/albums/dd121/BrooklynRiderRob/?action=view&current=DSCN0663.jpg)

May 25th, 2009, 09:10 PM
Under the span....

http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd121/BrooklynRiderRob/th_DSCN0664.jpg (http://s220.photobucket.com/albums/dd121/BrooklynRiderRob/?action=view&current=DSCN0664.jpg)

http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd121/BrooklynRiderRob/th_DSCN0666.jpg (http://s220.photobucket.com/albums/dd121/BrooklynRiderRob/?action=view&current=DSCN0666.jpg)

http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd121/BrooklynRiderRob/th_DSCN0669.jpg (http://s220.photobucket.com/albums/dd121/BrooklynRiderRob/?action=view&current=DSCN0669.jpg)

http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd121/BrooklynRiderRob/th_DSCN0670.jpg (http://s220.photobucket.com/albums/dd121/BrooklynRiderRob/?action=view&current=DSCN0670.jpg)

http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd121/BrooklynRiderRob/th_DSCN0671.jpg (http://s220.photobucket.com/albums/dd121/BrooklynRiderRob/?action=view&current=DSCN0670.jpg)

May 25th, 2009, 09:15 PM
A sense of how massive the bridge is...


May 25th, 2009, 09:22 PM
View from the south...

http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd121/BrooklynRiderRob/th_DSCN0677.jpg (http://s220.photobucket.com/albums/dd121/BrooklynRiderRob/?action=view&current=DSCN0677.jpg)

http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd121/BrooklynRiderRob/th_DSCN0685.jpg (http://s220.photobucket.com/albums/dd121/BrooklynRiderRob/?action=view&current=DSCN0685.jpg)

http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd121/BrooklynRiderRob/th_DSCN0730.jpg (http://s220.photobucket.com/albums/dd121/BrooklynRiderRob/?action=view&current=DSCN0730.jpg)

http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd121/BrooklynRiderRob/th_DSCN0731.jpg (http://s220.photobucket.com/albums/dd121/BrooklynRiderRob/?action=view&current=DSCN0731.jpg)

http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd121/BrooklynRiderRob/th_DSCN0733.jpg (http://s220.photobucket.com/albums/dd121/BrooklynRiderRob/?action=view&current=DSCN0733.jpg)

May 25th, 2009, 09:26 PM
Road piers to the east...

http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd121/BrooklynRiderRob/th_DSCN0734.jpg (http://s220.photobucket.com/albums/dd121/BrooklynRiderRob/?action=view&current=DSCN0734.jpg)

2. My favorite of the east photos...
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd121/BrooklynRiderRob/th_DSCN0736.jpg (http://s220.photobucket.com/albums/dd121/BrooklynRiderRob/?action=view&current=DSCN0736.jpg)

May 26th, 2009, 10:52 AM
Excellent. I've never actually been right up to its base. Great bridge.

May 26th, 2009, 11:10 AM
It was a pretty cool bridge for vintage toy toy trains as well!

June 21st, 2009, 11:05 AM
I live in Astoria in the shadow of the Hell Gate Bridge, and Astoria is the Hell Gate Bridge.

i'll say -- to put it in perspective here is what karenpnyc is talking about!

and for more perspective, here is an annotated walking tour i did in 2006 of astoria -- the second link includes the hellgate bridge:

astoria, queens pt 1 of 2: a real ethnic mash-up:

astoria, queens pt 2 of 2: straight to hell:

October 3rd, 2009, 02:42 AM
colleencournot (http://www.flickr.com/photos/36765191@N05/3948579923/sizes/l/in/pool-47438114@N00/)

October 20th, 2009, 03:07 AM
I've got this picture of the Hell Gate Bridge, but can't find the photographer who took it or owns it. Can anyone help?
Thank you so much

April 8th, 2010, 01:20 PM
http://images.ny-pictures.com/photo2/m/32378_m.jpg (http://ny-pictures.com/nyc/photo/picture/32378/rail_bridge_astoria)

Picture of Hell Gate Bridge (http://ny-pictures.com/nyc/photo/topic/4531/Hell_Gate_Bridge) thanks to moacir (http://ny-pictures.com/nyc/photo/photographer/604680/moacir) and New York Pictures (http://ny-pictures.com/nyc/photo/)

June 10th, 2010, 10:42 PM
needs a paint job.

scottdunn (http://www.flickr.com/photos/scottdunn/4512000044/sizes/o/)

January 25th, 2011, 11:56 PM
Hi everyone:
New here
I felt compelled to present this image:


As you can see the original design for the Hell Gate Bridge of 1907 by Henry Hornbostel and Gustav Lindenthal resembles the Sydney Harbor Bridge even more than the final construction.
I call your attention to the two tower buttreses at either end of the arch. Hornbostel's designed called for two headstone-like pediments similar to what is at either end of the Sydney Harbor Bridge.
I can only surmise that J.J.C. Bradfield (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Bradfield_%28engineer%29) got the original plans for the Hellgate with these buttresses which he used for the Sydney Harbor Bridge.
(Please note that the photo of the drawing is from 'NEW YORK 1900' by Robert Stern, Gregory Gilmartin and John Massengale, Note to the administrator, if there is any copyright infringement please remove the picture.)

January 26th, 2011, 12:10 AM
One more note, the bridge was completed in September 30, 1916. It would be entirely fitting to have a Centennial celebration. I would propose that an elevated walkway and bike path be constructed above the rail road so as not to interfere with the service. Of light weight construction such a walkway could easily be carried by this bridge. It would allow a pedestrian connection between Northern Queens and Manhattan that does not currently exist. And it would bring the communities that have lived under the shadow of this bridge into a more intimate contact and appreciation of it. Feel free to comment. Thank you, Joe

February 1st, 2011, 07:41 AM
Randall's Island Bike Path To Connect to South Bronx Greenway

Rendering courtesy NYCEDC

The NYC Economic Development Corp. is planning to create a new bicycle and pedestrian path on Randall's Island under the Hell Gate Bridge. The path will eventually connect the island to the South Bronx Greenway (http://www.nycedc.com/ProjectsOpportunities/CurrentProjects/Bronx/SouthBronxGreenway/Pages/SouthBronxGreenway.aspx), which is bringing bicycle access to the waterfront through a network of bike paths in SoBro. With so much hot air expelled over bike lanes in Brooklyn and Manhattan, it's nice to know the Bronx is getting some love, too! Of course, the virulently anti-cyclist editors at the NY Post took one look at this development and said, "Bikeway to hell!" But from what an NYCEDC spokesman told us, there's nothing hellish about it.

Right now the only way to legally get to the island by bike is via the 103rd Street Pedestrian Bridge in Manhattan. But that bridge is closed during the winter months. (Also, it's currently being rehabilitated and won't open until at least mid-2011.) There are other pedestrian bridges, but they're technically for pedestrians only. Once complete, the Randall's Island bike network will bring the island closer to cyclists in the Bronx. The project is being funded by the city, with a budget TBD.

Kyle Sklerov at the NYCEDC tells us, "The construction of new bike and pedestrian pathways will provide increased recreational opportunities and improved access to Randall’s Island. The pathways will provide visitors great opportunities to walk, jog, and cycle under the historic Hell Gate Bridge railroad trestle."


September 19th, 2012, 05:26 AM
Awesome. And everyone's on the correct side :).



October 1st, 2013, 11:19 AM
Happy Birthday, Hell Gate Bridge

by Mitch Waxman

She’s 1,087 feet long, provides a very long island with a rail link to the continent, and was built as the New York Connecting Railroad Bridge. She was designed by Gustav Lindenthal, and is considered to be the most robustly designed structure in all of NYC. Famously, Discover Magazine once declared that she would outlive every other span in the harbor by nearly a thousand years (http://discovermagazine.com/2005/feb/earth-without-people/#.UkXsII5MZ4M).

Modernity and common usage refers to her as the Hell Gate Bridge, and she lives in Astoria.

She opened for business on this day in 1916, and today is her birthday.


A rail bridge, she spans the Hell Gate section of the East River between Astoria, Randall’s Island, and the Bronx. There are four tracks up there, and she is operated and owned by Amtrak, although freight trains from CSX and others are regularly seen transiting through. Her approaches include just over three miles of elevated track which cut through Astoria and then across Randall’s, where a couple of smaller bridges are found (crossing Little Hell Gate and the Bronx Kill) whereupon it enters the South Bronx.

There was more steel used in the Hell Gate Bridge construction than was used in the Queensboro and Manhattan Bridges combined, some 20,000 tons of metal.


Considered a vital strategic asset of the United States, the Hell Gate Bridge and the rather explosive history of the waterway it crosses were discussed in a Brownstoner posting which was offered back in August – Hell Gate: A Bright Passage (http://queens.brownstoner.com/2013/08/hell-gate-a-bright-passage/). The bridge was completed on September 30th, 1916, but didn’t open to traffic until April of 1917.

The top of the arch of the Hell Gate Bridge is some 305 feet over the water.


When she opened, she was the longest arch bridge in the world. The steel was manufactured in Pittsburgh (http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9802E6DA173CE633A25750C0A9649C946396D6CF) by the Carnegie Steel Company.

The bridge is painted in a color called “Hell Gate Red,” a pigment which has not exactly lived up to expectations (http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/08/a-bad-impression-outlasts-a-bridges-new-paint/?_r=0). Nevertheless, the old girl is ninety seven today, and we should all look so good at her age.

Happy Birthday, Hell Gate.


October 3rd, 2013, 12:53 PM
That's red??!?

October 3rd, 2013, 10:56 PM
It looks like the bridge hasn't been repainted since it opened. Shame. Maybe they can give it a centennial gift in a few years.

December 23rd, 2013, 10:57 AM
New York Daily News

City project aims to make Randalls Island pedestrian friendly with new pathwayConstruction began Wednesday on a quarter-mile pathway that will offer streamlined pedestrian access to Randalls Island by 2015.BY JOEY SCARBOROUGH (http://www.nydailynews.com/authors?author=Joey%20Scarborough)/ NEW YORK DAILY NEWSTHURSDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2013, 5:01 PM
Pedestrians and cyclists will be able to enjoy the quarter-mile pathway connecting the South Bronx to Randall's Island. The project is expected to be completed by early 2015.

It's going to be a lot easier to walk and bike to Randalls Island.
The city started construction Wednesday on new quarter-mile pathway to connect the South Bronx and the underused East River island, began construction Wednesday.
The $6.9 million project will add a safe pathway that runs from 132nd St. in Port Morris to Randalls Island.

The path, which will be finished in 2015, will run under the existing Amtrak trestle, and over the Bronx Kill to Randalls Island.
The island counts 330 acres of recreational land including athletic fields, gardens, picnic areas and waterfront pathways, but they are not readily accessible by foot or bike despite the island’s proxmity to the South Bronx.
“The Connector will provide a long-awaited direct link between the South Bronx and the hundreds of acres of parkland on Randalls Island,” said City Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito, whose district includes Randalls Island and the South Bronx.