Pelham Bridge

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Pelham Bridge
Pelham Bridge jeh.JPG
Downstream side of bridge
Official name Pelham Bay Bridge
Carries Shore Road, Pedestrians, Bicycles
Crosses Hutchinson River
Locale New York City (The Bronx)
Maintained by New York City Department of Transportation
Design Bascule bridge
Material Concrete, Steel
Total length 891 feet (272 m)
Width Roadway:40 feet (12 m), Sidewalk:7.5 feet (2.3 m)
Longest span 80 feet (24 m)
Number of spans Seven
Piers in water Six
Clearance below 17.5 feet (5.3 m)
Construction begin August 9, 1906
Construction end February 17, 1909
Opened October 15, 1908
Daily traffic 19,131 (2008)[1]
Coordinates 40°51′43″N 73°48′57″W / 40.86204°N 73.81582°W / 40.86204; -73.81582Coordinates: 40°51′43″N 73°48′57″W / 40.86204°N 73.81582°W / 40.86204; -73.81582

Pelham Bridge is a bascule bridge located in the New York City borough of the Bronx. It carries Shore Road and a walkway along the downstream side, over the Hutchinson River. The bridge is operated and maintained by the New York City Department of Transportation. Crossing the mouth of the river, it is variously called Pelham Bay Bridge[2] and Pelham Bridge.[3][4]

Pelham Bridge opens frequently; in 2008, it opened a total of 1,446 times.[5] The watercraft traffic under that bridge is greater than for any other drawbridge in the city.[6]


The first bridge at the site, a stone bridge built in 1815, was destroyed in a storm on April 12, 1816. Another bridge wouldn't be built at the site for eighteen years.[7]

The current bridge replaced an older one that required constant, expensive maintenance. The new bridge was opened to traffic on October 15, 1908 before it was fully completed, in order to save costs on maintaining the old bridge. During construction, the water main for City Island and Pelham Bay Park had to be interrupted, so water was imported from New Rochelle, costing the city $5,323.93. The bridge was completed on February 17, 1909.[8] at a total cost of $605,274.06.[9] The bridge was reconstructed in 1985.[10]

A celebration of the bridge's centennial took place on October 28, 2008.[6][11]


  1. ^ "New York City Bridge Traffic Volumes 2008" (PDF). New York City Department of Transportation. March 2010. p. 109. Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  2. ^ "Pelham Bay Bridge centennial celebration". The Bronx Times. July 17, 2009. Retrieved 2012-01-28. 
  3. ^ "Movable Bridges in the Bronx". New York City Department of Transportation. Retrieved 2012-01-28. 
  4. ^ Jeremy Steinemann (2011-08-23). "A 21st Century NEC: The Top Four Failing Bridges that Must Be Replaced". Northeast Alliance for Rail. Constructed in 1907, the bridge is beyond its useful life and must be replaced. A new Pehlam Bay Bridge would increase speeds on the bridge from 45 to 110 mph. 
  5. ^ "2008 Bridges and Tunnels Annual Condition Report". New York City Department of Transportation. 2008. p. 170. Retrieved 2008-08-08. 
  6. ^ a b Collins, Glenn (September 16, 2008). "Honors for Bridges Many Take for Granted". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2008-09-18. 
  7. ^ Bell, Blake (December 8, 2005). "The First Stone Bridge Built Across Eastchester Creek in Pelham, 1814-1815". Historic Pelham. Retrieved 2008-09-18. 
  8. ^ "Pelham Bay Bridge". NYC Bridge Centennial Commission. Retrieved 2008-09-18. 
  9. ^ "Pelham Bridge Facts". Bridges. New York City: New York City Department of Transportation. Retrieved 2008-09-18. 
  10. ^ "Pelham Parkway". Eastern Roads. Retrieved 2008-09-18. 
  11. ^ "Events". NYC Bridge Centennial Commission. Retrieved 2008-09-18. 

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