New York Roads - Macombs Dam Bridge

Macombs Dam Bridge

Looking east along 155th St. at the top of Coogan's Bluff. The photo atop the page was taken rather closer to the bridge on 155th.

Before I get to the bridge, let's start down below. This is the west side, looking north along the ramp from Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Blvd. NB to Frederick Douglass Blvd.

And here's the view from the Frederick Douglass Blvd. ramp to Harlem River Dr. SB, which also has a component that spurs back west for those who were just using it as a frontage road for parking.

The Powell Blvd. and Douglass Blvd. ramps join forces to become 155th St. WB. There is also a 155th St. above this one. Because you can only intersect one or the other, there is no distinction in names - no Lower or Viaduct, for example. Here are two westward views of the underside of the 155th St. viaduct and one eastward look where it meets the west end of Macombs Dam Bridge. The lower street dead ends past Bradhurst Ave. where the upper street finds the top of Coogan's Bluff. There's that name again. You may remember it as the cliff that overlooks the Polo Grounds, which sat in Coogan's Hollow. Hit a baseball hard enough, it could fly across the river to Yankee Stadium.

Finally, back to the western bridge portal, with its decorative bridge tender hut and decorative plaque. Click the last photo to read about the 1894 Central Bridge. Obviously, that name didn't stick. This replaced the 1860 Central Bridge but that replaced Macombs Dam, so the name that people had gotten used to is the one that stuck.

Walking east to the Bronx. This is a swing span, so I suppose it opens sometimes. And there's a gong. Most bridges only have a bell. This one has a gong. I'd like to hear about it.

The decorative main span crosses the Harlem River. Then there's the more ordinary-shaped side span across the Metro North Hudson Line, though it has the same girder-and-links construction.

On the Bronx side of the bridge, which leads directly to Yankee Stadium from the upper reaches of Manhattan, there were once three really old green signs sitting on top of the entrance. The center one was the only graphical sign for the bridge I know of, and the ones on each side are for Manhattan-side streets (155 St. on the right, 7 Av. on the left, for the split just past the end of the bridge).

Several years later, those were replaced by more legible ones, though 7th Ave. has transmogrified into Powell Blvd. Notice that every pier has a bridge tender hut. What happens if one tender wants to open the bridge and another doesn't? SPAN WARS!

Onto Harlem River Drive
Into Manhattan
Into the Bronx
Back to New York Roads
Back to Roads