Hudson Valley Bridges: Crossings and Spans Over the Hudson River

Cross purposes: The Valley’s buzzing about the new TZB. But what about our other bridges?


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rip van winkle bridge

Rip Van Winkle Bridge

Whimsically named not for a politician but a fictional character in a Washington Irving story, this bridge, which connects Columbia and Greene counties, has two distinct sections. The cantilevered structure was used over a deep channel, where drilling pilings wasn’t practical; the open, truss section — supported on pilings — traverses shallower water.

Like the other bridges, it sits 145 feet above the high-tide mark, to allow for the passage of tall-masted ships — although the Albany-bound tankers that rumble beneath it usually have plenty of leftover head room.

  • Type: cantilever and truss
  • Length: 5,041 feet
  • Year opened: 1935
  • Designer: Col. Frederick Stuart Greene
  • Main view: Olana, painter Frederic Church’s home
  • Tolls: $1.50 cash; $1.25 E-ZPass
  • Traffic: 5.2 million in 2011
  • Pedestrian-friendliness: decent; walkway on south side only, but easy parking
  • Suicide prevention system: phones

Read on for more fun facts about your local bridges:


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