The Hudson River basin.
This is a list of bridges over the Hudson River in the United States. The Hudson River is a 507 kilometer long river, located mostly in eastern New York state. The river rises in the Adirondack Mountains and flows into the Atlantic Ocean at New York City. There are a number of iconic bridges spanning the river, which played a major role in the early history of the United States.
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The George Washington Bridge in northern Manhattan.
The Hudson River rises in Lake Tear of the Clouds, a small lake 1,300 meters high in the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York. This is near Mount Marcy, the highest point in New York state at 1,629 meters. The river initially flows through remote wilderness, one of the least populated regions of the eastern United States. The river here has a great decline, the river also quickly becomes about 50 meters wide and partly forms a narrow valley. The area is densely wooded and the region has a few small villages further downstream on the river, the first more urban core at the river is Glen Falls. The Hudson River has already descended here to 100 meters above sea level.
Further south, the Hudson passes through more urbanized areas around the capital Albany, where several historic centers on the river are located, such as Troy, Albany and Rensselaer. Near Albany, the Hudson River is more than 250 meters wide and has already reached sea level here, despite being quite far inland. Tides are still influencing from the Albany region, despite being 230 kilometers from the open sea.
From Albany to New York, the river forms the great Hudson Valley, the largest valley in New York State. This is a wide valley where the river is often more than 1 kilometer wide. Up to the New York region, there are mainly smaller towns on the river, such as Poughkeepsie and Newburgh. The valley narrows at Peekskill, where steep hills surround the narrowing. South of it is the Tappan Sea, a section of the Hudson that is 3.5 kilometers wide. This is also the northern boundary of the New York City metropolitan area.
South of Hastings-on-Hudson, the river forms the border between New York State and New Jersey. The Jersey side of the Hudson River has steep wooded slopes, the more urbanized east bank is less hilly. The river flows past the town of Yonkers and then forms the western boundary of New York City. The river flows first past the Bronx borough and then Manhattan Island. The Hudson area here is the most highly urbanized part of the United States, with the famous skyscrapers of Manhattan, but also on the New Jersey side, where cities such as Fort Lee, Hoboken and Jersey City are located. South of Manhattan, the water widens and forms the New York Harbor, which is actually seawater. The water then narrows again between Staten Island and Brooklyn, after which the Lower Bay of the Atlantic Ocean forms.
The Hudson River has a relatively narrow catchment area and has no major tributaries. The most important is the Mohawk River, which flows into the Hudson River at Cohoes. The Hoosic River and Croton River also have some significance.
North of Troy are numerous small weirs and dams. These are generally low weirs whose only task is to regulate drainage, in the past they have also been used to generate electricity for local production during the industrial revolution. Some dams are located where waterfalls have historically been located, such as Hudson Falls and Glen Falls, where the rock of the falls has dried up after the construction of dams.
The first dam upstream is the Federal Dam at Troy, tides are measurable on the Hudson River up to this dam.
The Hudson River has a relatively low discharge of 620 m³/s near New York City. Between Albany and New York, the river barely has the character of a flowing river. Saltwater from the Atlantic Ocean mixes with freshwater from the Hudson River in the New York Harbor. Saltwater can be detected further north, mostly as far as Newburgh but sometimes as far as Poughkeepsie.
The Hudson as a waterway
The Hudson River is an important waterway connection. Large ships can reach Troy, seagoing ships can reach Albany harbor. The Hudson River Estuary is highly industrialized with major port facilities, particularly in New Jersey but also in Manhattan, where the character is more based on pleasure yachts and ferry services. Locks allow smaller vessels to bypass the first series of weirs as far as Hudson Falls. The northernmost lock is at Fort Miller, where a lateral canal runs along the Hudson.
In 1825, the Erie Canal was completed, a network of canals built east-west through Upstate New York that allowed a waterway between the Hudson River and the Great Lakes. This was one of the first major works that made the industrial revolution possible, reducing transport costs by 95% compared to carts and pack mules. From 1837, railways were ready to compete with the canal. Until the 1850s, however, ships transported many times more tonnage on the canal than the railways.
Between 1905 and 1918, the New York State Barge Canal was constructed as an improved canal parallel to the Erie Canal. The canal has not been used for freight transport since the 1960s and 1970s, this goes by truck or train. As a result, the canal mainly has a recreational character. The part of the Hudson between New York and Albany is still used for commercial freight.
Because of its width, the Hudson River was a formidable obstacle to transportation. The first connections near New York were tunnels, because of the strong tides and currents bridges were not possible in the 19th century. The first bridge over the river was the Troy–Waterford Bridge in 1804. In 1866 the Livingston Avenue Bridge was opened, the first railroad bridge over the river in Albany. In 1889 the Poughkeepsie Bridge, also a railway bridge, opened.
The first tunnels under the Hudson opened in the early 20th century and were railway tunnels. Three railway tunnels opened between 1906 and 1910. The Holland Tunnel, the first road tunnel under the Hudson, opened in 1927, followed by the Lincoln Tunnel in 1937.
In 1931, the George Washington Bridge, the first bridge across the Hudson to New York, opened. Even today this is the most important and busiest bridge over the Hudson River. Most of the other bridges were built in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1955 the Tappan Zee Bridge opened north of New York and in 1964 the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, the largest suspension bridge in the United States. In Albany, the most recent new bridges over the Hudson opened to traffic in 1968-1969. No new bridges have opened since 1969, but the Tappan Zee Bridge was replaced in 2017 and was the first new road bridge over the Hudson between New York and Albany in 48 years.
Between New York and Albany, all bridges are toll roads. Only the bridges at Albany are toll-free. The largest road authorities in New York are MTA Bridges and Tunnels and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
List of bridges over the Hudson River
The Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, the most downstream connection.
The list runs upstream from New York City to Albany.
|Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge||2,418 m||1,298 m||suspension bridge||4×3||1964|
|George Washington Bridge||1,450 m||1,067 m||suspension bridge||2×3+2×4||1931|
|Tappan Zee Bridge||4,881 m||369 m||truss bridge||3+4||1955|
|Bear Mountain Bridge||687 m||497 m||suspension bridge||1×2||1924|
|Newburgh-Beacon Bridge||2,394 m||305 m||cantilever bridge||2×3||1963|
|Mid-Hudson Bridge||914 m||457 m||suspension bridge||2+1||1930|
|Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge||2,365 m||244 m||truss bridge||1×2||1957|
|Rip Van Winkle Bridge||1,537 m||244 m||truss bridge||1×2||1935|
|Castleton Bridge||1,625 m||?||truss bridge||2×2||1959|
|Dunn Memorial Bridge||255 m||?||girder bridge||2×4||1969|
|Pattern Island Bridge||547 m||?||truss bridge||2×3||1968|