Green Island Bridge
Green Island Bridge
View from the north
|Carries||4 traffic lanes of NY 915B|
|Locale||Village of Green Island and City of Troy, New York|
|Official name||Green Island-Troy Bridge|
|Other name(s)||Green Island-Troy Bridge|
|Maintained by||New York State Department of Transportation|
|Design||Vertical-lift bridge |
|Opened||September 12, 1981|
The original Rensselaer and Saratoga Railroad bridge was a wood-truss covered bridge built in 1832. On May 10, 1862 it caught fire from the sparks of a passing locomotive and soon fell into the river. Parts of the burning structure, floating with the current, imperiled the steamboats and the smaller craft tied up along the wharves. The devastating wind-driven fire also consumed more than 500 buildings covering 75 acres (300,000 m2) of downtown Troy. This bridge was replaced by a second wooden bridge.
In 1884 a steel railroad bridge replaced the second wooden bridge. The steel bridge was really two parallel bridges owned by the Delaware and Hudson Railroad. When rail service ended in Troy on July 27, 1963, it was converted for automobile traffic. Until then the northern span was a rail bridge, and the southern span was a toll bridge for cars, trolleys, and pedestrians. It had a lift span added in 1924-25 for river shipping. This bridge failed on March 15, 1977 due to flooding caused by 2.7 inches (69 mm) of heavy weekend rains, coupled with melting snows and heavy runoff. The flood-induced scour undermined the lift span pier, causing the western lift tower and roadbed span of the bridge to collapse into the Hudson River.
The current Green Island Bridge (shown in the photos) was opened four-and-a-half years later on September 12, 1981. Construction costs topped $23,000,000. The bridge is a vertical lift bridge which is raised only occasionally for river traffic. The two metal-covered frames, which straddle the roadway, house the counterweights and lift mechanisms. The lift bridge joins Troy and Center Island (once known as Starbuck Island), an island in the river. There is another bridge that connects Center Island with the village of Green Island (which is no longer an island).
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