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Putnam Railroad Bridge

North County Trailway Bridge

Putnam Railroad Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: August 30, 2019

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Railroad (North County Trailway Rail-Trail) Over New Croton Reservoir
Rural: Westchester County, New York: United States
Structure Type
Metal 18 Panel Pin-Connected Baltimore Through Truss, Fixed and Approach Spans: Concrete Closed Spandrel Deck Arch,
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1905 By Builder/Contractor: New York Central Railroad Forces and Engineer/Design: Olaf Hoff of New York, New York

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
384 Feet (117 Meters)
Structure Length
459 Feet (140 Meters)
Roadway Width
18 Feet (5.49 Meters)
1 Main Span(s) and 2 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

This bridge is a very large, rare example of a pin-connected Baltimore through truss. It features a short concrete arch approach span at each end of the bridge and incorporates portions of the stone abutments a previous bridge at this location. This previous bridge (a three span pin connected truss bridge) was too low for the reservoir created by the New Croton Dam, which is why this bridge was built. The design of this bridge is unusual for an early 20th century bridge, its large, lightweight lattice portal bracing and Baltimore truss configuration is reminiscent of the great bridges built by George Morison over the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers in the 1800s. This bridge however was designed in-house by the New York Central Railroad, under the direction of bridge engineer Olaf Hoff, who at the time worked for the railroad as Engineer of Structures. Hoff was a noted engineer who designed a railroad bridge at Niagara Falls and also the Detroit River Tunnel. He also worked for the Shiffler Bridge Works in the 1880s and for many years did work as a consulting engineer. This railroad bridge superstructure was built in-house by railroad workers. The substructure was contracted to the United Engineering and Contracting Company of New York.

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Above: Historical photo showing bridge construction.


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