Macombs Dam Bridge

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Macombs Dam Bridge
Macombs Dam Bridge from Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd approach.jpg
View from the south showing the swing span over the Harlem River (left), and the camelback span over railroad tracks (right) in 2014;
Manhattan is to the left, the Bronx to the right, with Yankee Stadium in the background
Coordinates 40°49′41″N 73°56′02″W / 40.82806°N 73.93389°W / 40.82806; -73.93389Coordinates: 40°49′41″N 73°56′02″W / 40.82806°N 73.93389°W / 40.82806; -73.93389
Carries four lanes of roadway, one lane on each side for pedestrians
Crosses Harlem River
Locale Manhattan and the Bronx, New York City
Maintained by New York City Department of Transportation
Design swing bridge and camelback bridge
Total length 2,540 feet (770 m)
Longest span 408 feet (124 m)
Opened May 1, 1895
Daily traffic 39,020 (2012)[1]

The Macombs Dam Bridge (mə-KOOMZ) spans the Harlem River in New York City, connecting the boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx near Yankee Stadium. It is the third-oldest bridge in New York City[2] and, along with the 155th Street Viaduct, was designated a New York City Landmark in January 1992. The bridge is operated and maintained by the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT).

History and description[edit]

One of the four stone end piers

The bridge is located 3.2 miles (5.1 km) from the mouth of the Harlem River. It consists of a swing bridge over the Harlem River decorated with four finials and with stone end piers with shelter houses, and a camelback span over the railroad tracks on the Bronx side. The main swing span is 408 feet (124 m) long and provides two shipping channels with 150 feet (46 m) of horizontal clearance. When closed the bridge provides 25 feet (7.6 m) of vertical clearance. The bridge's total length is 2,540 feet (770 m).

The current bridge is the most recent of several bridges in the area, the first of which – along with the since-demolished lock-and-dam system – opened in 1814. The wooden Central Bridge followed in 1861, to be replaced by the current bridge, which was also called the Central Bridge;[2] a plaque bearing this name still be seen on the swing span. However the name never stuck, and the old name Macombs Dam Bridge remained in popular use.[3]

Construction began in 1890 and was completed in 1895[2] at a total cost of $1.3 million. The bridge, which was designed by consulting engineer Alfred Pancoast Boller,[4] opened on May 1, 1895.[5] The New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) began a $145 million renovation of this bridge in 1999.

It has four lanes for vehicular traffic, and a sidewalk on each side for pedistrians.[3][5]

At the western end of the bridge is a long steel viaduct[2] leading to the intersection of 155th Street and Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Boulevard (Seventh Avenue), both of which end at the bridge. At the eastern end, a steel approach road leads to Jerome Avenue, which extends north into the Bronx and Westchester County.

Immediately to the north of the bridge was another swing bridge along which the now-demolished 9th Avenue El reached the Bronx and the IRT Jerome Avenue Line. That bridge was demolished sometime after this section of the 9th Avenue El ceased operation in 1958.

For 2011, the NYCDOT, which operates and maintains the bridge, reported an average daily traffic volume in both directions of 44,311; having reached a peak AADT of 55,609 in 1957.[6]

Public transportation[edit]

The Macombs Dam Bridge carries the Bx6 bus route operated by MTA New York City Transit. The route's average weekday ridership is 21,973.[7]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ "2012 New York City Bridge Traffic Volumes" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-09-23. 
  2. ^ a b c d New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission; Dolkart, Andrew S. (text); Postal, Matthew A. (text) (2009), Postal, Matthew A., ed., Guide to New York City Landmarks (4th ed.), New York: John Wiley & Sons, ISBN 978-0-470-28963-1 , pp. 204-205
  3. ^ a b "Macomb's Dam Bridge". bridgesnyc. 2010. Retrieved 2014-01-17. 
  4. ^ White, Norval; Willensky, Elliot; Leadon, Fran (2010), AIA Guide to New York City (5th ed.), New York: Oxford University Press, ISBN 9780195383867 , p. 547
  5. ^ a b "N.Y.C. Department of Transportation - Infrastructure - Harlem River Bridges". New York City Department of Transportation. Retrieved 12 January 2016. 
  6. ^ New York City Department of Transportation (March 2010). "2008 New York City Bridge Traffic Volumes" (PDF). p. 74. Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  7. ^ "Average Weekday NYC Transit Bus Ridership". MTA New York City Transit. 2012. Retrieved 2012-07-04. 

External links[edit]