The first New York-New Haven railroad bridge over the Harlem River was made of wood, built in 1841. The second iron replacement arrived in 1867.
By the time our ClockTower was being built in 1886 more than 200 trains a day were crossing the Harlem, right in sight of our loft building.
So by 1897, the third bridge arrived; the first truly modern one with a 300 foot steel truss to span across the water.
But by the early 1950’s, that bridge was overloaded and failing and so the fourth bridge--the one still in use today--opened in 1956.
It’s a lift bridge; the center section rises straight up on cables to make way for sea traffic below. This bridge spans 340 feet.
In September 2010 a fire broke out on the wooden fender island seen in this photograph below.
September 20, 2010
Twenty photos taken during that fire can be seen here: