Unlike Its Namesake, This Bridge Never Sleeps

July 2, 1935

The Rip Van Winkle Bridge was officially opened in southeastern New York’s section of the Hudson River Valley. The cantilever bridge, carrying New York State Route 23 over the Hudson River, connects the city of Hudson with the village of Catskill. The bridge was named after the long-hibernating protagonist of Washington Irving’s classic 1819 work, which takes place in that region of the Empire State; both Hudson and Catskill are mentioned in the story.

New York Governor Herbert H. Lehman

Thousands of people attended the Tuesday afternoon dedication of the Rip Van Winkle Bridge. New York Governor Herbert H. Lehman, accompanied by his wife Edith, spoke at these inaugural festivities. The New York Times reported, “Calling the bridge a milestone in the development of the Hudson River Valley, the Governor said it was a great economic, social and commercial advantage to the people of the State.”

Grace Emily Greene, the wife of the New York State superintendent of public works, cut the ribbon at the entrance of the bridge’s west side near Catskill. Laura Miller, the daughter of the chairman of the New York State Bridge Authority (NYSBA), cut the ribbon on the east end of the bridge near Hudson. (NYBSA was created in 1932 for the specific purpose of building a bridge between Hudson and Catskill.)

The 5,040-foot (1,536.5-meter)-long Rip Van Winkle Bridge continues to serve motor vehicle traffic. In addition, a pedestrian walkway on the bridge was recently opened. Bicyclists have the option of either using the roadway on the bridge or walking their bicycles across the pedestrian walkway.

For more information on the Rip Van Winkle Bridge, please check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rip_Van_Winkle_Bridge.

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