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
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