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Mid-Hudson Bridge

The Mid-Hudson Bridge, also known as the Poughkeepsie Bridge, is a cantilever bridge spanning the Hudson River between Poughkeepsie, New York on the west bank and Highland, New York on the east bank. Built in 1930–1933 by American Bridge Company, at the time of its completion it was the longest bridge of its type in the world.

 

History

The idea for the bridge was first conceived in 1868 by Poughkeepsie businessman John Warren Butler. In an attempt to make Poughkeepsie “the most enterprising and progressive city in the state,” Butler spent years unsuccessfully lobbying the state legislature for funding to construct a bridge across the Hudson River. His efforts were finally successful in 1924, when the New York State Legislature authorized $35 million for the construction of the Mid-Hudson Bridge.

Construction on the Mid-Hudson Bridge began in 1930 and was completed in 1933. The bridge was built by American Bridge Company at a cost of $32 million. At the time of its completion, it was the longest cantilever bridge in the world, with a total length of 6,767 feet (2,063 m). The bridge has two levels—a lower level with four lanes for vehicular traffic and an upper level with two tracks for railroad traffic.

The Mid-Hudson Bridge was originally named the Poughkeepsie Bridge, but was renamed in 1981 to honor Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had lived in the nearby town of Hyde Park. President Roosevelt played a key role in getting the bridge built; he pushed for its construction as part of his New Deal program and even attended the dedication ceremony in August 1931.

In 2008, the Mid-Hudson Bridge was designated as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers. In 2009, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Mid-Hudson Bridge is currently undergoing a major rehabilitation project, which began in 2016 and is expected to be completed in 2022. The project includes replacing the bridge’s deck, roadway lighting, and railings, as well as making repairs to the bridge’s concrete piers and steel superstructure. 

 

How To Get There

The Mid-Hudson Bridge is located in Poughkeepsie, New York, about 80 miles (130 km) north of New York City. It can be reached by car via Interstate 87 (the New York State Thruway) or U.S. Route 9.

For those coming from the south, take I-87 North to Exit 18 (New Paltz). Follow NY-299 West across the Walkway Over the Hudson to US-9 North. The bridge will be visible ahead.

For those coming from the north, take I-87 South to Exit 19 (Poughkeepsie). Follow US-9 South over the Mid-Hudson Bridge into Poughkeepsie.

 

Information provided by First Call Restoration.

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