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Crossing the Hudson: Historic Bridges and Tunnels of the River
     

Crossing the Hudson: Historic Bridges and Tunnels of the River

4.7 4
by Donald Wolf
 

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Fog, tide, ice, and human errorbefore 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

Overview

Fog, tide, ice, and human errorbefore 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 criticalwhen 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 longspan 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 storiesa 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.

Editorial Reviews

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."
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."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813549507
Publisher:
Rutgers University Press
Publication date:
04/15/2010
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
1,141,392
File size:
2 MB

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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Crossing the Hudson: Historic Bridges and Tunnels of the River 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
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