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, United States|
|Owner||New York City Economic Development Corporation|
|Height||215 feet (66 m)|
|Longest span||558 feet (170 m)|
|Clearance below||135 feet (41 m)|
|No. of tracks||1|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
|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, New York, United States. The bridge was built by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in 1959 to replace a swing bridge opened in 1890. It is a single-track bridge that parallels the Goethals Bridge, which is a section of Interstate 278. It has the longest lift span of any vertical-lift bridge in the world, with two 215-foot (66 m) towers and a 558-foot (170 m) truss span that allows a 500-foot (152 m) channel. It clears mean high water by 31 feet (9.45 m) when closed and 135 feet (41 m) when lifted.
First period of use
After the bridge opened in 1959 upon having replaced the Arthur Kill Bridge, 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 1990, and North Shore branch service ended until 2007.
Second period of use
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 included 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 took 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 would 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 called ExpressRail via the bridge, with regular service by Conrail, CSX and Norfolk Southern railroads.
The bridge is normally kept in the raised position, lowering to allow the passage of trains. As of 2008, it was lowered three times a day.
Rail to trail
On the NJ side, advocates have been discussing the creation of a path to the bridge directly from Summit, New Jersey to the Arthur Kill in Linden, New Jersey by utilizing the Rahway Valley Railroad and the Staten Island Rapid Transit line. The Summit council applied for a $1 million grant toward the Park Line project in November 2016. 
- Belson, Ken; Neuman, William (March 13, 2007). "City Hopes to Fix a Staten Island Railroad Bridge That Could, but Now Can't". The New York Times. Retrieved July 24, 2013.
- "Arthur Kill Lift Bridge [rehabiltation project]". Hudson Meridian Construction Group. 2008. Retrieved July 24, 2013.
- "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 into 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.
- "Movable bridge". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved August 15, 2013.
- 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. Archived from the original on July 14, 2011. Retrieved 2010-01-15.
- "THE ARTHUR KILL BRIDGE.; ARGUMENTS FOR AND AGAINST THE PROPOSED PLANS.". The New York Times. 1888-03-22. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-11-14.
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