Just How Did They Build the Mid Hudson Bridge in 1930?
On Tuesday, August 25 the Mid Hudson Bridge turns 90 years old.
While it feels like the bridge has always been connecting Dutchess and Ulster Counties, there was a time when people had to hop on a boat to travel from Poughkeepsie to Highland. In fact, the only bridge that crossed the Hudson River south of Albany at the time was the Bear Mountain Bridge.
According to the New York State Bridge Authority, the idea for the Mid-Hudson Bridge was brought to the New York State Legislature by J. Griswold Webb and John M. Hackett in 1923. Eventually, the project was approved and $200,000 was earmarked for planning and design. Work on the massive project began soon after with crews of construction workers dangling over the river and building an engineering marvel that seemed almost impossible at the time.
By 1930 the bridge was finally complete. A huge ceremony was held where President Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor were tasked with cutting the ribbon and letting the first car across.
Archival photos from the New York State Bridge Authority show how the bridge was built starting with the pillars, laying cable and eventually connecting the bridge's deck from one pillar to the other.