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Thread: The High Bridge aka Aqueduct Bridge

  1. #46

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    Fantastic. This bridge is a monument to itself.

  2. #47
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    What is that lattice steel crap attached to it in the foreground?

  3. #48
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    read from the start of the thread and you will understand. It's too bad the entire original bridge wasn't preserved

  4. #49
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Ah, got lazy.

    Although I like the shape of the main span.. seeing it compared to the stone portions.........

  5. #50
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Photos: An Exclusive Exploration Inside & Atop The High Bridge, NYC's Oldest Bridge

    (photos by Evan Bindelglass / Gothamist)





    New York is a city of bridges—there are 20 connected to Manhattan island alone. This is the story of the city’s oldest bridge, a story older than the Civil War. It's the story of a bridge most notable not for what was carried on its deck, but for what was carried on the inside. This is the story of the High Bridge.

    Recently, I was lucky enough to take a tour of the High Bridge from staff of both the NYC Parks Department and the NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC).

    The High Bridge spans the Harlem River to connect the area around West 170th Street in the Bronx to the area around West 173rd Street in Manhattan. (Why West 173rd Street and not East, since this is eastern Manhattan? Because it is technically west of 5th Avenue.)

    The bridge was part of the Old Croton Aqueduct and literally brought New York City its lifeblood: clean water. 


The aqueduct went into service in 1842, with one pipe crossing the Harlem River somewhere around river level. The bridge was built around it with one 36-inch pipe inside and was completed in 1848. After the initial pipe was removed, a second 36-inch pipe was added to the inside the bridge.



    According to Ellen Macnow, High Bridge Project Coordinator for the Parks Department, the origin of the bridge's name goes back to the 1830s, when there was a debate over whether to build a low bridge, a high bridge, or a tunnel. They went with a high bridge and now we have the High Bridge.

 Inventive!

    The original 36-inch pipes were replaced by a single 90-inch pipe in 1861 or 1862, but plugs from the original 36-inch pipes remain inside the bridge. 

According to Macnow, the water service continued inside the bridge with only two notable interruptions.

    

The first was in the 1920s when the five stone arches that crossed the river were removed and in 1927, a single steel span replaced them. The reason for their removal was to improve navigability on the Harlem River for both military and commercial purposes. Because other sources of water were already flowing into Manhattan, the entire bridge was nearly demolished. But it was saved, in part, for history's sake.

    

The second notable interruption occurred during World War II, when officials feared sabotage.

 "It really tells the story of New York City," Macnow said of the bridge. "It tells the story of the needs of New Yorkers. It tells the story of politics and finance."

    One particular story about the High Bridge stands out as both sinister and apocryphal.

 "The urban legend is that somebody on the bridge threw something off and killed a person on the Circle Line," Macnow said. "The true story, I found in the New York Times, is that there were youths—'hoodlums' in the parlance of the day—in 1952, 1953, 1954, who were throwing things off the bridge and they injured people on the Circle Line and nobody has forgotten that story." Macnow added, 

"Now we want to give the bridge a new story."

    Water continued flowing through the bridge until 1958, and people were able to cross on its deck 116 feet above the Harlem River until about 1970. Since then, it has been off-limits to the public, but the city is in the midst of a $61 million project to rehabilitate the bridge and reopen the deck.

    The project is a joint effort between the Parks Department. and the DDC, and is part of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's PlaNYC.

 Officials hope to open the deck of High Bridge to the public in June of 2014, reconnecting the Highbridge neighborhood with Washington Heights and allowing residents to walk or bike across the historic 1,200-foot-long structure.

    

"Just the idea of that reconnection has tremendous symbolism, I think, for both communities," says David Burney, Commissioner of the Department of Design and Construction. "It's this piece of industrial archeology, this huge pipe system that was carrying water across and into Manhattan that we're preserving and keeping as a piece of history," Burney says, "We do a lot of bridge reconstruction. But this is very special."

    Some are already hailing the High Bridge as another High Line-like project.



    "Long linear spaces en vogue in New York City," admitted Jennifer McCardle Hoppa, Administrator for Northern Manhattan Parks for the Parks Department. 

As part of the project, the bridge deck will be restored and parts of it will be resurfaced. (An interesting thing to note is that the original stone arch portion of the bridge—and one stone arch remains on the Manhattan side—was surfaced in a herringbone pattern, but the steel portion was not.)

    The original railings are also being restored for re-installation, but they are very short. So a new 8-foot-tall outer safety fence will be added behind them. But don't worry, you'll be able to focus your camera through them to get pictures about as unobstructed as those you would take from the 86th floor of the Empire State Building.



    Macnow said the work being done now is designed so that no significant work will be needed for another 30 to 50 years.

 While only the bridge deck will be open the public, the city has been doing work restoring and cleaning up the inside of the bridge as well. We asked one of the engineers on the project if anything surprising was found inside. His answer: raccoon skeletons.

    more photos

  6. #51
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    pretty cool, I recommend clicking on the pictures from the website "full screen" and scrolling through

  7. #52
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Awesome old bridge, but I am still disappointed at the mid-span replacement.

    And I am still wondering about that unlucky engineer...

  8. #53
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Harlem River, Cut Off From Public, Is Getting a Push Out of Isolation

    By LISA W. FODERARO


    Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times
    New York City is rebuilding the High Bridge, a pedestrian crossing whose arches span the
    Harlem River and connect Upper Manhattan and the Bronx.

    One by one, the rivers around Manhattan have emerged from decades of industrial abuse. The Hudson River has its five-mile ribbon of parkland and active kayaking community; the Bronx River, the occasional beaver sighting; and the East River, a popular ferry service — all contributing to the sense that New York is, in fact, a river city.


    Swindler Cove is on the river in Sherman Creek Park, once an illegal dumping ground.


    Mill Pond Park, a 10-acre oasis with tennis courts in the Bronx.

    One waterway has lagged, however. The Harlem River, a 9.3-mile channel that flows from the Hudson River to the East River, remains gritty and industrial. Major highways and train tracks cut the public off from the water on the Bronx side, and pipes that discharge raw sewage during heavy rains dot both shores.

    But there are signs of progress, with public and private investment pouring into new and existing parks. And there is now a robust circle of advocates pressing the river’s case.

    “It’s one of the most alluring, but unmet water frontiers in New York,” said Roland Lewis, president of the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, an umbrella organization of nonprofit boating groups and maritime businesses. “When you’re on the Circle Line, you’re amazed at the beauty. But there is virtually no access on either side.”

    Perhaps the clearest indication that the city is committed to the Harlem River is the $62 million reconstruction of the High Bridge, whose lofty Roman-style arches span the river and connect Upper Manhattan and the Bronx. The pedestrian bridge, opened in 1848, was a popular gathering spot in the early 1900s, a place where people took in the scenery in the latest fashions.

    The bridge fell into disrepair and closed for good in the early 1970s. Reviving the bridge, which extends from Highbridge Park on the Manhattan bank, was one of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s most ambitious park initiatives. When it opens next year, the bridge — still off limits to cars — will give the park-deprived residents of the South Bronx access to the greener landscape across the river, in particular the 130-acre Highbridge Park, with its enormous outdoor pool.

    “It’s really the centerpiece of the Harlem River corridor,” said Jennifer M. Hoppa, the parks department’s administrator of parks in northern Manhattan, referring to the High Bridge project. “It’s the midpoint.”

    Highbridge Park, which is separated from the river by the Harlem River Drive, overlooks an important link in the Bloomberg administration’s plan to create an uninterrupted greenway around Manhattan, with bicycle and walking paths. The city has invested $1 million into upgrades for an esplanade that runs from 162nd to 200th Street.
    But to the south, from 162nd Street to 120th, gaps remain.

    One can see and feel the river more easily in Manhattan than in the Bronx, where train tracks hug the eastern shore. In 2007, parks officials created five street-end parks in the Inwood section of Manhattan: miniplazas with benches overlooking the river. One park, at 202nd Street, has steps descending to the water for kayaks and other light craft. “It’s something we could do quickly, since the city had control of the street ends,” Ms. Hoppa said.

    Perhaps the most dramatic addition of parkland on the Harlem River has come from a nonprofit group, the New York Restoration Project, founded by Bette Midler. After cleaning up Fort Tryon and Fort Washington Parks on the Hudson, the group turned its focus to the Harlem River. Working with the parks department, it reclaimed a forlorn piece of garbage-strewed wetland on the river just south of Dyckman Street, and invested $17 million in what is now Sherman Creek Park: a 15-acre oasis with walking paths, wildflowers and a boathouse.

    Designed by the architect Robert A. M. Stern, the boathouse, opened in 2004, is the headquarters of Row New York, a nonprofit group that has introduced low-income children to rowing, in sleek racing shells more often associated with Ivy League crew. “It was a brownfield site filled with old cars,” said Deborah Marton, senior vice president for programs at the New York Restoration Project.

    The group is now holding a design competition for a new education center to be built in Sherman Creek Park. The building will serve as an example of storm-resilient architecture, while allowing the group to hold education programs in urban ecology no matter the weather. “We’re in a flood zone so this building will flood and it will be fine,” Ms. Marton said.

    On the other side of the river, a coalition of 50 community groups and government agencies, called the Harlem River Working Group, is determined to return the waterfront to the Bronx. With the nonprofit organization Trust for Public Land, the group last year issued a report, the Harlem River Greenway Vision, with ideas for better access and potential locations for new parkland. “The Bronx side has been left behind,” said Marc A. Matsil, the trust’s New York State director.

    There are bright spots, however. In 2009, the parks department built Mill Pond Park, 10 acres on the river with 16 tennis courts, picnic areas and a jogging path. The $64 million project was one of several parks the city created to replace parkland lost in building the new Yankee Stadium.

    Farther north, near the Alexander Hamilton Bridge, is Bridge Park, a new half-mile finger of parkland that extends to Roberto Clemente State Park. Construction on the $4.1 million park is finished, but the city, citing safety concerns, is waiting for the New York State Transportation Department to finish renovation work on the Hamilton Bridge before opening it.

    In the meantime, the Trust for Public Land has seized on every chance to expand the parks. Last year, together with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and a foundation, it bought an 0.58-acre parcel near the High Bridge. The land had belonged to a local church, which had leased it to a dog pound. “There were dozens of dogs in chains on the site,” Mr. Matsil said. “They were not doing well.”

    His vision for the future park includes a green lawn and kayak launch, although the city will ask the community for its opinions.

    “Despite all the challenges,” Mr. Matsil said, “the river still provides fish habitat for red hake, winter flounder, Atlantic sea herring and blue fish. It also connects to multiple watersheds, and there aren’t many water bodies that do that in the city.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/23/ny...isolation.html

    http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2013/1...estoration.php

  9. #54

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    High Bridge is scheduled to reopen to pedestrians on July 25, 2015.

    http://www.bceq.org/2015/04/14/openi...-july-25-2015/

  10. #55
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Another really nice pedestrian experience in NYC.


    The Historic High Bridge Will Finally Reopen After 40 Years

    June 5, 2015, by Zoe Rosenberg


    [Images via W2tB.

    After being closed to the public for more than 40 years, the landmarked pedestrian-only High Bridge between the Bronx and Manhattan will reopen next week. Welcome2theBronx reports that the span will avail itself to pedestrians on June 9, six years after it was initially supposed to reopen after being shuttered in the 1970s. The High Bridge is the city's oldest bridge, dating back to 1848, and stands 140 feet tall, 2,000 feet long and stretches between about West 173rd Street in Manhattan and West 170th Street in the Bronx. Gothamist points out that it was originally constructed as part of the Croton Aqueduct, which supplied clean water to New York City as its population surged around the mid-1800s and turn of the century.


    Image via MCNY



    The Original "High Line", The High Bridge, to Reopen This Tuesday, June 9th! [W2tB]
    The High Bridge Will Finally Reopen This Month [Gothamist]
    A Stunning Link to New York's Past Makes a Long-Awaited Return [NYT]

    http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2015/0...r_40_years.php

    Fabulous photo:


    The High Bridge, which connects Manhattan to the Bronx over the Harlem River, in 1905.
    via the Library of Congress

  11. #56
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    such a shame they destroyed the original supporting arches

  12. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merry View Post
    Fabulous photo:

    Time has not been kind:


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