Skip to main content

Green Island Bridge - Troy and Green Island, New York


One of the more aesthetically interesting bridges on the Hudson River, the Green Island Bridge which links the city of Troy, New York with the neighboring village of Green Island by way of Center Island. The only lift bridge located on the Hudson River, it could be considered to be the signature bridge for the Hudson River north of Albany. But as enduring of a symbol that the 630 foot long Green Island Bridge is for the local area, it is not the original bridge at this location.

Initially, there was a rail crossing where the Green Island Bridge stands today. The original bridge was a covered bridge built in 1832 and served the Rensselaer and Saratoga Railroad. In 1862, the bridge caught fire from the sparks of a passing locomotive and soon fell into the Hudson River. Parts of the burning structure, put the steamboats and smaller watercraft docked along the wharves in peril. The devastating fire also consumed more than 500 buildings covering 75 acres in downtown Troy.

This bridge was replaced by a second wooden bridge, which was in use until 1884, when a steel railroad bridge replaced the second wooden bridge. The steel bridge was essentially two parallel bridges owned by the Delaware and Hudson Railroad. When rail service ended in Troy in 1963, the bridge was converted for the use of automobile traffic. Until then the northern span was a rail bridge, and the southern span was a toll bridge for cars, trolleys, and pedestrians. This edition of the Green Island Bridge had a lift span added in 1924 for river shipping, useful as the Hudson River is a tidal estuary as far north as the Troy Federal Lock and Dam about a mile north of the Green Island Bridge.

On March 15, 1977, the collapse of the old Green Island Bridge had occurred due to flooding caused by 2.7 inches of heavy weekend rains, coupled with melting snows and heavy runoff that often occurs in March. Scour induced by the flood undermined the lift span pier, causing the western lift tower and roadbed span of the bridge to collapse into the Hudson River.. At about 2:25 pm that day, a few people heard loud noises and realizing that the bridge was collapsing, sprung into action. They quickly stopped traffic from going on the bridge and were credited with saving many lives. Soon afterward, one span fell off and collapsed into the Hudson River. Around 7:00pm that same evening, the 85 foot west lift tower and roadbed span collapsed into the river as well. Fortunately, nobody was hurt as the bridge carried over 22,000 vehicles per day at that time, including many employees of the nearby Ford plant that was operating in Green Island at the time.

The collapse of the old Green Island Bridge affected life in both Green Island and Troy for several years as Green Island isolated from downtown Troy. Construction on the present Green Island Bridge began in 1978 and was opened on September 1981 and it cost $23 million to build. During the same time frame, and perhaps as a result of the collapse of the Green Island Bridge, the nearby Collar City Bridge carrying NY 7 across the Hudson River, was also constructed.

Today, the new Green Island Bridge blends very well into the landscape of downtown Troy. A number of riverside restaurants offer great views of the bridge and at the time of this article, there is a riverside walking trail being constructed that will afford some nice views of the bridge. The greater community has also rallied behind the Green Island Bridge as well. There was a mural painted underneath the Green Island Bridge on TroyBot, an imagined version of the Green Island Bridge that transforms into a giant robot. This mural depicts TroyBot helping the City of Troy following a devastating storm.










How to Get There:



Sources and Links:

Green Island Bridge - Bridgehunter.com
Green Island Bridge (old) - Bridgehunter.com
Troy Green Island Bridge - A Postcard History Of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - Troy, NY
Recalling bridge collapse 30 years later - Troy Record
40 Years Ago Today... Green Island Bridge Collapse - Village of Green Island



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Legend of the Ridge Route; a history of crossing the mountains between the Los Angeles Basin and San Joaquin Valley from wagon trails to Interstates

Over the past two decades I've crossed the Interstate 5 corridor from Los Angeles north over the Sierra Pelona Mountains and Tehachapi Range to San Joaquin Valley what seems to be an immeasurable number of times.  While Interstate 5 from Castaic Junction to Grapevine via Tejon Pass today is known to most as "The Grapevine" it occupies a corridor which has been traversed by numerous historic highways.  The most notable of these highways is known as the "Ridge Route."  This article is dedicated to the Ridge Route and the various highways that preceded it.  The Ridge Route is a 44 mile section of highway which was completed in 1915.  The Ridge Route originally stretched from Castaic Junction north over Liebre Summit and Tejon Pass to the tiny community of Grapevine.  In spite of a roadway that once utilized nearly 700 curves the Ridge Route is generally considered far ahead of it's time and one of the first modern highways constructed for automotive use. 

Closing the Gap - How Interstate 77 in North Carolina and Virginia Came To Be

Interstate 77 through the Virginias and Carolinas was not an original Interstate Highway proposal.  In 1957, Interstate 77 was born as an over 400-mile southwards extension of a previously approved Cleveland to Canton, Ohio Interstate.  The new road would extend through four states before terminating at Interstate 85 near Charlotte, North Carolina.  This extension would bring an additional north-south highway connecting the industrial Midwest to the South.   During the early planning stages of Interstate 77 from the late 1950s through the mid-1960s, North Carolina and Virginia had different plans routing the Interstate that took over five years to settle. While the new Ohio to Charlotte Interstate would follow the WV Turnpike to its terminus at US 460 near Princeton, its route through the remainder of West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina was uncertain.  The route south from Princeton into Virginia and to Interstate 81 near Wytheville consisted of two options.  An eastern option

Former US Route 99 in Modesto and the 7th Street Bridge

Recently I paid a visit to the City of Modesto of Stanislaus County to visit the former alignments of US Route 99.  My interest in Modesto was spurred by the fact that the earliest alignment of US Route 99 in Modesto over the 7th Street Bridge is endangered.   Part 1; the history of US Route 99 in Modesto Modesto was settled as a siding of the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1870.  Modesto was originally slated to be named "Ralston" in honor of financier William C. Ralston.  Ralston requested to have another name for the siding to be found.  The name "Modesto" was chosen to recognize the modesty of Ralston.  The construction of the Southern Pacific Railroad in San Joaquin Valley brought a large of amount of commerce as the previous transportation corridors in the Sierra Nevada Foothills were rendered obsolete.  Modesto grew rapidly and replaced Knight's Ferry as the Stanislaus County Seat in 1872.  Modesto can be seen along the Southern Pacific Railroad on the 187