University Heights Bridge

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University Heights Bridge
2014 University Heights Bridge from University Heights train station.jpg
Coordinates Coordinates: 40°51′46″N 73°54′54″W / 40.86278°N 73.91500°W / 40.86278; -73.91500
Carries 207th Street / Fordham Road
Crosses Harlem River
Locale Manhattan and the Bronx, New York City
Other name(s) 207th Street Bridge
Maintained by New York City Department of Transportation
Design Swing
Total length 268 feet (82 m)
Longest span 227 feet (69 m)
Opened January 8, 1908
Daily traffic 40,078 (2016)[1]

The University Heights Bridge crosses the Harlem River, connecting West 207th Street in the Inwood neighborhood of Manhattan to West Fordham Road in the University Heights section of the Bronx. The steel-truss revolving swing bridge[2] is operated and maintained by the New York City Department of Transportation and carries two lanes of traffic in each direction, along with a sidewalk on the south side of the bridge. It may have once carried the now-decommissioned New York State Route 9X.[3]

The bridge has three masonry piers, and the approach spans are made of steel. The sidewalk features four shelters with cast-iron piers, while the bridge itself has a "graceful" profile with "ornate" iron railings and two stone pavilions.[2]


The bridge was designed by consulting engineer William H. Burr with Alfred Pancoast Boller, who was particularly responsible for its aesthetics, and Paul W. Birdsall, and was constructed in 1893-95 at its original location as the Harlem Ship Canal Bridge between Upper Manhattan and Marble Hill. The bridge was to be replaced by a new double-level bridge that would accommodate the extension of the IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line,[4] so in 1905-08 it was disconnected and floated down the Harlem River (June 1906) to its current location, where it was placed on a central pier and an additional span was added to it on the western approach, all under the supervision of chief engineer Othniel F. Nichols.[2][5][6] The bridge opened to traffic on January 8, 1908.[7]

On September 11, 1984, the bridge was designated a New York City Landmark by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.[8]

A new, wider bridge was constructed between 1989 and 1992 to replace the decaying previous structure.[2][7] The new bridge used a portion of the superstructure latticework of the original bridge.[4]

On June 12, 2008, the New York City Bridge Centennial Commission organized a parade to mark the centennial anniversary of the bridge. The event was attended by Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión, Jr. and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.[6][9]

Public transportation

The University Heights Bridge carries the Bx12 bus route operated by MTA New York City Transit, which operates as a local and as a form of bus rapid transit branded as the Bx12 Select Bus Service. The route's average weekday ridership is 45,039.[10]

On the Bronx side, the bridge provides access to the University Heights station on the Hudson Line of Metro-North Railroad via its pedestrian walkway.

In popular culture

University Heights Bridge appears in the opening credits to Marvel's Luke Cage (television series).




  1. ^ "New York City Bridge Traffic Volumes" (PDF). New York City Department of Transportation. 2016. p. 9. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission; Dolkart, Andrew S.; Postal, Matthew A. (2009), Postal, Matthew A. (ed.), Guide to New York City Landmarks (4th ed.), New York: John Wiley & Sons, ISBN 978-0-470-28963-1, p.333
  3. ^ "New York City: State and U.S. Roads". Archived from the original on February 19, 2014. Retrieved 2007-03-23. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  4. ^ a b White, Norval; Willensky, Elliot & Leadon, Fran (2010), AIA Guide to New York City (5th ed.), New York: Oxford University Press, ISBN 9780195383867, p.867
  5. ^ "West 207th Street/University Heights Bridge Over Harlem River". New York City Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on 2010-06-03. Retrieved 2010-06-27. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  6. ^ a b Kigner, Elise (June 24, 2008). "University Heights Bridge Turns 100". Daily News. New York. Retrieved 2010-02-21.
  7. ^ a b "University Heights Bridge". Retrieved 2007-03-22.
  8. ^ Shockley, Jay. "University Heights Bridge Designation Report" New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (September 11, 1984)
  9. ^ "Bronx Week Listings" (PDF). Norwood News. June 12–25, 2008. p. 11. Retrieved 2010-02-21. [permanent dead link]
  10. ^ "Average Weekday NYC Transit Bus Ridership". MTA New York City Transit. 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-07-08. Retrieved 2012-07-04. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)

External links

  • NYCDOT: West 207th Street/University Heights Bridge Over Harlem River
  • - University Heights Bridge
  • King Bridge Company Museum: University Heights Bridge
  • NYC Bridge Centennial Commission - University Heights Bridge

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