There are 2,027 bridges in NYC.
              I'm trying find all of them.
                         And then cross all of them.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Carroll Street Bridge

Only 2,018 more to go...


The Carroll Street Bridge in Brooklyn is one of five bridges which span the Gowanus Canal. The canal has long been considered the dividing line between the Carroll Gardens and Park Slope neighborhoods although it is sometimes now referred to as it's own community - 'Gowanus'.

The five bridges are some of the most picturesque in the city and are, in order from North to South, The Union Street Bridge, The Carroll Street Bridge, The Third Street Bridge, The Ninth Street Bridge, and the Hamilton Avenue Drawbridge which runs parallel to the Gowanus Expressway at the mouth of the canal.

The Carroll Street Bridge was built in 1888 and is the oldest of only four retractile bridges in the United States. It rolls back horizontally on wheels set on steel rails in order to clear the waterway. The bridge was designated a NYC landmark in 1987.


View of the pulley and cable retraction system.

According to the EPA, the bridge was opened for water traffic 228 times in 1999 (the last year I could find available data.)


The approach is still cobblestoned and the bridge itself is wooden planking. One of the better unnoticed details is the sign which remains atop the structure:


"Ordinance of the City
Any Person Driving over
this Bridge Faster than
a Walk will be Subject to
a Penalty of Five Dollars
for Each Offence."

(Caps are theirs)

Type of Bridge: Retractile
Opened to traffic: 1889
Roadway Width: 17 feet
Sidewalks: Two 4.5 foot wide sidewalks

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1 comment:

Michael said...

I have chaperoned class trips to the Union and Carroll St Bridges. The entire class stands on the Carroll St Bridge and they open and close the Union St Bridge for the kids to watch. Then they open and close the Carroll St Bridge with the kids standing on it. Cool