Posted by Alison Trost on October 1, 2010 at 8:13 AM.
Serving as a busy railroad crossing for nearly a century, the Walkway Over the Hudson underwent a massive rehabilitation in 2008-2009 and is today the world’s longest and highest pedestrian bridge.
The Walkway Over the Hudson is an outstanding example of how communities can grow very attached to their bridges. The old railroad bridge that crosses the Hudson River at Poughkeepsie, N.Y., celebrates its first anniversary tomorrow, October 2, in its new life as an elevated, 1.28-mile-long pedestrian park.
Completed in 1888, the 6,767 ft long structure was at the time the world’s longest bridge. The heavily used crossing was damaged by a fire in 1974 and had been closed until its recent 16-month conversion into a public park.
The $35+ million rehabilitation got its start in 1992 when a small group of individuals formed the non-profit Walkway Over the Hudson. Work on the project began in May 2008 and the park opened on October 3, 2009. Today it is the world’s longest elevated pedestrian bridge and offers a panoramic view of the Hudson valley from 212 ft above the water.
AISC member Bergmann Associates, Rochester, N.Y., provided planning and engineering for the project. A wonderful set of photographs by Scott Crist documents the construction and the park’s opening. View them on his website blog.
To go straight to information about the October 2nd First Anniversary Celebration, click here.
Just in case that’s not enough, check out a 10-minute video showing everything from the bridge’s construction to its role in the observation of the 400th anniversary Henry Hudson’s 1609 voyage up the river.