Saturday, July 4, 2009

I walked across the George Washington Bridge

This was the view from the North Walkway. It was hazy all day and followed by rain, which I missed.

Opened to traffic: October 25, 1931
Lower Level opened: August 29, 1962 Translation: they added Martha later, she was an afterthought

Length: 4,760 feet or 1,451 meters (between anchorages)
Length of center span: 3,500 feet or 1,067 meters
Width: 119 feet or 36 meters
Width of roadway: 90 feet or 27 meters
Height restrictions, Lower Level: 13' 6"
Height of tower above water: 604 feet
Water clearance at mid-span: 212 feet or 65 meters

The Upper Level is suspended from four steel cables, each 36 inches in diameter and composed of 26,474 wires. The cables are carried by saddles on top of two 604-foot-high steel towers.

On the New Jersey side, the tower rises out of the river 76 feet from shore; on the New York side, the tower stands on land.

Since there are 4,760 feet from one anchorage (the place where the cables are attached into the palisades rock) to the other, both ways, plus the extra walk to see what it all looked like from New Jersey and to and from the apartment had to be 2 miles. Two FLAT miles once you go up the stairs to the walkway.

This is the walkway, and as you can see it is very narrow. The traffic is pretty close to you as you go along, but the overall effect is still great. You are sharing the walkway with bicycles and runners and other walkers.
These guys didn't have to share their walkway with anyone. One looks like the Silver Surfer who was always one of my favorite comic book superheros.
This is the view from New Jersey. The north side of the bridge is the only one open during the week, so the view from the roadway is all upstream. That may be great when the weather is clear but the South side has the NY skyline, so now I am going to have to do that one. The South side walkway is open on the weekends according to one of the bridgeworkers.
Le Corbusier ------

"The George Washington Bridge over the Hudson is the most beautiful bridge in the world. Made of cables and steel beams, it gleams in the sky like a reversed arch. It is blessed. It is the only seat of grace in the disordered city. It is painted an aluminum color and, between water and sky, you see nothing but the bent cord supported by two steel towers. When your car moves up the ramp, the two towers rise so high that it brings you happiness; their structure is so pure, so resolute, so regular that here, finally, steel architecture seems to laugh� The second tower is very far away; innumerable vertical cables, gleaming across the sky, are suspended from the magisterial curve that swings down and then up. The rose-colored towers of New York appear, a vision whose harshness is mitigated by distance."

I thought I had this post scheduled but it appears that blogger requires 2 numbers in the day portion of the date, or it won't publish.. oh well, this was supposed to be the 4th of July post

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1 comment:

Gill said...

And it was worth waiting for too. Thanks Jordi!!