May 2003

What can you get for a dollar?

Sounds like an advertising slogan for any number of products, but it really should be one for the New York State Bridge Authority – at least as far as the Bear Mountain Bridge is concerned.

For the price of just a dollar, you get to cross – both east and west – the fabled Hudson and take in a breathtaking vista of what has been dubbed as “America’s First River.”

While on the bridge and looking north you can imagine the first of two “Great Chains” that was strung between Fort Montgomery and Anthony’s nose during the Revolutionary War in an attempt to thwart British ships from moving north. The 35-ton chain failed to prevent the British Navy from attacking Fort Montgomery, but it must have been amusing to the see the frustration on Redcoat faces when they encountered yet another example of young American ingenuity – and defiance.

In addition to the Bear Mountain Bridge, the New York State Bridge Authority has four other spans in its jurisdiction and each one possesses a unique character and offers spectacular views well worth the price of admission. For the folks who must cross and pay tolls on these bridges everyday, the Hudson’s beauty can become stale – like anything else done too often.

But if you take just a moment to marvel at the engineering of these bridges and the Hudson’s panorama, you discover that for a pocketful of change you see something that stays with you for a lifetime.

Here’s to Spring finally behaving like Spring.

You can also view previous issues of Superintendent's Profile.