Back in 1881 five years before our ClockTower, the New York City Parks department built the first wooden footbridge across the Harlem River between Inwood and the Bronx.
The University Heights Bridge connects west 207th street in Manhattan to WestFordham Road in the Bronx.
The first steel bridge here was actually a recycled Broadway Bridge that was floated downstream and placed on a newly constructed center pier in 1908.
Today a newer bridge completed in 1992 makes the connection, but the old ironwork designs were retained.
Sharon Reier, author of The Bridges of New York, described the University Heights Bridge:
“A walk on the University Heights span reveals the aesthetics of the 1890's, when ornament was considered beautiful.”
“Amidst wrecked cars, rotted piers and oily water, the gay steel cut-outs of cartwheels and daisies lining the walkway give evidence of the playful mind that designed it, as do the green-shingled gazebos at either end of the bridge and the peak silhouette of the span itself.”
This 267 foot long span carries 45,000 vehicles everyday.