Crossing the Hudson: Historic Bridges and Tunnels of the River

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Overview


Fog, tide, ice, and human error--before the American Revolution those who ventured to cross the vast Hudson Valley waterway did so on ferryboats powered by humans, animals, and even fierce winds. Before that war, not a single Hudson River bridge or tunnel had been built. It wasn't until Americans looked to the land in the fight for independence that the importance of crossing the river efficiently became a subject of serious interest, especially militarily. Later, the needs of a new transportation system became ...
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Crossing the Hudson: Historic Bridges and Tunnels of the River

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Overview


Fog, tide, ice, and human error--before the American Revolution those who ventured to cross the vast Hudson Valley waterway did so on ferryboats powered by humans, animals, and even fierce winds. Before that war, not a single Hudson River bridge or tunnel had been built. It wasn't until Americans looked to the land in the fight for independence that the importance of crossing the river efficiently became a subject of serious interest, especially militarily. Later, the needs of a new transportation system became critical--when steam railroads first rolled along there was no practical way to get them across the water without bridges.

Crossing the Hudson continues this story soon after the end of the war, in 1805, when the first bridge was completed. Donald E. Wolf simultaneously tracks the founding of the towns and villages along the water's edge and the development of technologies such as steam and internal combustion that demanded new ways to cross the river. As a result, innovative engineering was created to provide for these resources.

From hybrid, timber arch, and truss bridges on stone piers to long-span suspension and cantilevered bridges, railroad tunnels, and improvements in iron and steel technology, the construction feats that cross the Hudson represent technical elegance and physical beauty. Crossing the Hudson reveals their often multileveled stories--a history of where, why, when, and how these structures were built; the social, political, and commercial forces that influenced decisions to erect them; the personalities of the planners and builders; the unique connection between a builder and his bridge; and the design and construction techniques that turned mythical goals into structures of utility and beauty.

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Editorial Reviews

Choice

"A fascinating look at the history of the many Hudson River bridges and tunnels. This work is a must read for anyone interested in structural engineering, bridges, and the history of engineering. Highly recommended."
Hudson Valley Magazine

"Engineers and history buffs alike will take a shine to Donald E. Wolf's Crossing the Hudson. Thoroughly researched and written in an authoritative but lively style, this tome tackles an aspect of the Valley's past."
Star-Ledger

"A beautifully written, richly researched and illustrated text even a commuter can admire."
Civil Engineering

"In Crossing the Hudson, retired civil engineer Donald Wolf chronicles a different, less documented history of the Hudson: two centuries of bridge and tunnel building. The book is a blend of American history and civil engineering history, with a dash of biography. It is a book for quiet enjoyment, a mellow cruise down the Hudson and through American history."
author of Engineers of Dreams - Henry Petroski

"In Crossing the Hudson, Donald Wolf shows with a fine eye for detail how the engineering accomplishments embodied in bridges and tunnels are inseparably linked to the larger social and political context in which they are conceived and built. This extremely well written book not only provides revealing insights into the history of the Hudson River, its environs, and their people and infrastructure, but also demonstrates in case after case how interesting the stories surrounding them can be."
Choice

"A fascinating look at the history of the many Hudson River bridges and tunnels. This work is a must read for anyone interested in structural engineering, bridges, and the history of engineering. Highly recommended."
Daily Gazette

"This is a well-researched, beautifully written history of the 21 bridges and tunnels that cross the Hudson between the Capital Region and New York City. [Wolf's] deep knowledge of the Hudson valley brings to life the social and historical backgrounds for each crossing."
Star-Ledger

"A beautifully written, richly researched and illustrated text even a commuter can admire."

Hudson Valley Magazine

"Engineers and history buffs alike will take a shine to Donald E. Wolf's Crossing the Hudson. Thoroughly researched and written in an authoritative but lively style, this tome tackles an aspect of the Valley's past."

Civil Engineering

"In Crossing the Hudson, retired civil engineer Donald Wolf chronicles a different, less documented history of the Hudson: two centuries of bridge and tunnel building. The book is a blend of American history and civil engineering history, with a dash of biography. It is a book for quiet enjoyment, a mellow cruise down the Hudson and through American history."

Choice

"A fascinating look at the history of the many Hudson River bridges and tunnels. This work is a must read for anyone interested in structural engineering, bridges, and the history of engineering. Highly recommended."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813547084
  • Publisher: Rivergate Books
  • Publication date: 5/15/2010
  • Series: Rivergate Book Series
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 794,345
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author


DONALD E. WOLF worked in engineering for approximately forty years before switching to writing about it. He is the author of Big Dams and Other Dreams and Turner's First Century.
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Table of Contents

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Introduction 3

1 Waterford, the First Bridge 7

2 Steam and a Bridge at Troy 17

3 Three Railroad Bridges at Albany 30

4 The Last of the Railroad Bridges: Poughkeepsie and Castleton 49

5 The Railroad Tunnels 72

6 The Bear Mountain Bridge 92

7 The Holland and Lincoln Tunnels 106

8 The George Washington Bridge 127

9 The Mid-Hudson Bridge 151

10 The Rip Van Winkle Bridge 165

11 The Tappan Zee Bridge 177

12 The Kingston-Rhinediff Bridge 196

13 The Newburgh-Beacon Bridges 210

Epilogue 227

NOTES 235

INDEX 259

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2014

    Snow

    Ok love you

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    Posted December 28, 2013

    Sikara

    The slender shewolf stuck her silvery head in, violet eyes embaressed. "If you need a alpha female then i could take that rank. If you want."

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    Posted December 28, 2013

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    Gtgtb night.

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    Posted February 4, 2014

    Jaey

    I have been busy lately. I will advertise ASAP!

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