Arthur Kill Vertical Lift Bridge
|Arthur Kill Vertical Lift Bridge|
Arthur Kill Lift Bridge
|Carries||Conrail and M&E rail lines|
|Locale||Elizabeth, New Jersey and Staten Island, New York|
|Height||215 feet (66 m)|
|Longest span||558 feet (170 m)|
|Clearance below||135 feet (41 m)|
|Opened||August 25, 1959;
reopened October 4, 2006
The Arthur Kill Vertical Lift Railroad Bridge is a railroad-only, vertical-lift bridge connecting Elizabethport, New Jersey and the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island. The bridge was built by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in 1959 to replace a swing span. It is a single-track bridge that parallels the Goethals Bridge, which is a section of Interstate 278. It is the longest vertical-lift bridge in the world, with two 215-foot (66 m) towers and a 558-foot truss span that allows a 500-ft channel. It clears mean high water by 31 feet when closed and 135 feet (41 m) when lifted.
Decline of rail traffic 
After the bridge opened rail traffic declined due to manufacturing facilities on Staten Island closing. Bethlehem Steel closed in 1960, U.S. Gypsum in 1972, U.S. Lines-Howland Hook Marine Terminal in 1986, and Procter and Gamble in 1991. A shift to truck traffic also reduced rail traffic over the bridge, and the North Shore branch of rail service went through a series of owners. The three companies that owned the North Branch were B&O Railroad, CSX and the Delaware Otsego Corporation. They saw the bridge as excess property. The last freight train went over the Arthur Kill Lift Bridge in 1991, and North Shore branch service ended until 2007.
Re-opening the bridge 
In 1994 the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) purchased the Arthur Kill Railroad Lift Bridge and the North Shore branch from CSX. On December 15, 2004, NYCEDC and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced a joint $72 million project to rehabilitate the bridge and reactivate freight rail service on Staten Island. Repairs include repainting the steel and rehabilitating the lift mechanism. The bridge was painted royal blue in an homage to the B&O. The rehabilitation project was completed in June 2006.
On October 4, 2006 a train crossed the bridge for the first time in 16 years. It was a single locomotive which will take on switching duties at the New York Container Terminal, also known by its old name, Howland Hook.
On April 2, 2007 normal operations involving garbage removal from the Staten Island Transfer Station started, which will result in an estimated 90,000 annual truck loads diverted from the nearby Goethals Bridge. On October 4, 2007, New York Container Terminal, which operates Howland Hook, announced the opening of on-dock rail service via the bridge, with regular service by Conrail, CSX and Norfolk Southern railroads.
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See also 
- "Arthur Kill Vertical Lift Bridge". Structurae. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
- "Center of New Bridge Floated Across Arthur Kill on 4 Barges". New York Times. June 1, 1959. Retrieved 2010-09-16. "The center of the world's longest vertical-lift bridge was floated into place yesterday across the Arthur Kill between Elizabethport, N. J., and Arlington, S. I. ... Section of new BO bridge is moved in to position in Arthur Kill behind old ... Kill on 4 Barges. The center of the world's longest vertical lift bridge ..."
- "The Arthur Kill Bridge.; Arguments For And Against The Proposed Plans". The New York Times. March 22, 1888.
- Railway Age 4 March 1957 p36
- "NJ-Staten Island link poised to return; Arthur Kill bridge finally fixed". Crain's New York Business. March 26, 2007. Archived from the original on June 15, 2011. Retrieved May 11, 2013. "The bridge's owner--the city Economic Development Corp., has spent millions of dollars in recent years to rehabilitate the bridge, which is the longest of its kind in the nation."
- The royal blue color was a thematic element of much of the B&O. It was used as the name of the premier Royal Blue (train) service between Washington and New York for example.
- Young, Deborah (October 5, 2006). "Riding the rails into the port's future". Staten Island Advance.
- Yates, Maura (April 3, 2007). "As the trash train rolls, fewer trucks clog roads". Staten Island Advance.
- "NYCT announces the opening of its On-Dock Rail!" (Press release). New York Container Terminal. October 4, 2007. Retrieved 2010-01-15.
- Arthur Kill Railroad Lift Bridge at NYCRoads.com
- Train Crosses The Arthur Kill Vertical Lift Bridge on YouTube
- Arthur Kill Lift Bridge on YouTube