Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Bridge of the Week #25: Hamilton Ave. Bridge

This week's bridge (actually last week's, since I'm a week behind again), the Hamilton Ave. Bridge, is the final bridge over the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, or rather, the first if you're traveling from the Gowanus Bay. The bridge runs northeast-southwest between Smith St. and 2nd Ave. and sits directly underneath the Gowanus Expressway.

This bridge is unique among other bascule drawbridges in that it has two parallel leafs, one carrying the four northbound lanes and a sidewalk and one carrying the four southbound lanes and a sidewalk. I'm not aware of another bridge in New York City with this feature, but then again I'm not done yet! The bridge was built in 1942 and recently had some major reconstruction work done. I'm only assuming that it was named indirectly after Alexander Hamilton, as there are a number of place names in Brooklyn that include Hamilton, beginning with Fort Hamilton in the Bay Ridge neighborhood.

Like the other Gowanus Canal bridges, this sits in a largely industrial area between the residential neighborhoods of Red Hook and Park Slope. Just to the west is Red Hook Park, a nice enough neighborhood park, but not much of a destination, and of course Prospect Park is nearly a mile to the west. The bridge does see heavy auto traffic, and the intersections on either side are not particularly pedestrian-friendly.

To recap, then, the Gowanus Canal bridges from south to north, traveling inland: Hamilton Ave. Bridge, 9th St. Bridge, 3rd Ave. Bridge on the side, 3rd St. Bridge, Carroll St. Bridge, Union St. Bridge. If running in this area, I recommend seeing the Carroll St. Bridge as it is the most unique and has an old-time charm.

1 comment:

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