Spuyten Duyvil Creek
Spuyten Duyvil Creek / / is a channel connecting the Hudson River to the Harlem River Ship Canal, and on to the Harlem River in New York City, separating the island of Manhattan from the Bronx and the rest of the mainland. The neighborhood named Spuyten Duyvil lies to the north of the creek.
"Spuyten Duyvil" may be literally translated as "Spouting Devil" or Spuitende Duivel in Dutch; a reference to the strong and wild tidal currents found at that location. It may also be translated as "Spewing Devil" or "Spinning Devil", or more loosely as "Devil's Whirlpool" or "Devil's Spate." Spui and spuit are still today commonly used Dutch words involving outlets for water. Historian Reginald Pelham Bolton, however, argues that the phrase means "sprouting meadow", referring to a fresh-water spring.
The creek was first crossed in 1693, when The King's Bridge was built by a Dutch nobleman Frederick Philipse, Lord of Philipse Manor, who had sworn allegiance to the British. The bridge's alignment was roughly south of and parallel to today's West 230th Street. The later-named Kingsbridge carried Boston Post Road, connecting southern Westchester County (which became The Bronx) with Marble Hill, once part of Manhattan island, but still today part of Manhattan borough. The bridge is said to still be in place, having been buried when the creek bed was filled in. The creek water flow was redirected to the new and deeper shipping canal, south of Marble Hill.
Spuyten Duyvil Creek originally flowed north of Manhattan's Marble Hill. The construction of the Harlem River Ship Canal to the south of the neighborhood in 1895 turned Marble Hill into an island, and in 1914, when the original creekbed was filled in, Marble Hill became physically attached to the Bronx, though it remains part of the borough of Manhattan.
Another realignment of the creek occurred in the 1930s, to the west of the original realignment. This had the opposite effect: It separated a portion of the Bronx and resulted in its attachment to Manhattan as a small peninsula where the Inwood Hill Park Nature Center is now situated.
Three bridges cross the Spuyten Duyvil Creek. From west to east:
- The Spuyten Duyvil Bridge, a railroad swing bridge that carries Amtrak's Empire Corridor line between New York City and Albany
- The Henry Hudson Bridge, a steel arch toll bridge that carries the Henry Hudson Parkway (New York State Route 9A)
- The Broadway Bridge, a lift bridge that carries Broadway and the IRT Broadway-Seventh Avenue Line, with the roadway on the bottom and the subway above.
- Sypher, Frank J. "Dispute Springs Eternal Over 'Spuyten Duyvil'" (letter to the editor) New York Times (November 14, 1993)
- Renner, James (September 2005). "Johnson Ironworks Factory". Washington Heights & Inwood Online. Retrieved 2010-01-15.
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