Opened: November 15, 1931
Architect: Othmar Amman
The Bayonne Bridge features a 1,675-foot main span supported by a hyperbolic steel arch. The bridge was designed by Othmar Amman based on the design that his mentor, Gustav Lindenthal, used for the Hell Gate railroad bridge between Ward's Island and Astoria, Queens. Groundbreaking occurred on September 1, 1928 and the bridge opened to traffic on November 15, 1931. Although cantilever and suspension designs were considered, the arch design was chosen because it could accomodate proposed rail lines on the outer edges of the roadway. The rail lines never materialized as envisioned, although as of this writing in 2009 there are propoosals to bring the Hudson-Bergen light rail line over the bridge into Staten Island. There are also considerations of replacing or modifying the bridge to accomodate newer ships that exceed the 150 foot clearance above mean high water (NYCRoads 2009).
Mariner's Harbor sits to the west of the Bayonne Bridge and, as the name implies, was home to considerible industry that supported the maritime industry. The coast was home to shipyards, steel mills and machine shops and saw substantial activity in support of WW-I and WW-II. Bethlehem Steel bought a shipyard here in 1938 and employed 12,000 during its peak in WW-II, launching destroyers and making propellers for other types of ships. Bethlehem Steel closed the shipyard in 1960 and the propeller plant in 1971. I'm not sure exactly what was where, but these are some of the buildings on the coastline to the west of the Bayonne Bridge, most seeming to still be active with light industrial activity. (GlobalSecurity.org 2009, DestroyerHistory.org 2009)
The ROW proceeds west from the Bayonne Bridge in a shallow trench, crossed by a number of street bridges. The surrounding neighborhoods are fairly dense mixed industrial and sturdy old residential.
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