Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bridge of the Week #21: 9th Street Bridge

Going back to the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn for this week's bridge, the 9th Street Bridge. This carries 9th St. over the canal between Smith St. and 2nd Ave. On the west (Smith St.) side is a somewhat battered-looking residential neighborhood on the outskirts of Carroll Gardens and Red Hook, but one that is gaining in popluarity, as affordable but unsightly neighborhoods in New York seem to do. On the east is an area that is still highly industrial, at least as far east as 3rd Ave., when residential areas take over. There are not specific running or bike pathways, and no major parks in the immediate vicinity, but it can be an enjoyable area to run and explore different parts of the city, especially if you want to explore the Brooklyn waterfront areas, which are not far away.

The bridge itself is one of the newest bridges in the city, having been rebuilt in 2000, the original I believe having been built in 1905. It is a bascule drawbridge, but I've had trouble finding the specs. But it's not a big bridge, and it's at street level. It does, however, sit underneath the Smith-9th St. station for the F and G train. This station is the highest in the entire system, at 87 feet above the Gowanus Canal.
Breaking bridge news: This week's bridge isn't terribly interesting, but there is some interesting goings-on with the Willis Ave. Bridge. This bridge, which I'll cover in a later installment is being rebuilt, and in fact the span which was recently built in Albany, has been floated on a barge down the Hudson, around the southern tip of Manhattan, and just this week was floated upthe East River, under the Brooklyn and other major bridges near it's final destination on the Harlem River between Manhattan and the Bronx. It is expected to be set into place in August, finally opening in the fall, hopefully in time for the New York Marathon, since the 20-mile point is set on the bridge. As of now you can probably go and see the span sitting on a barge just north of the Triboro Bridge. I plan to go take a look sometime this weekend.

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