Mid-Hudson Bridge
The Mid-Hudson Bridge (since 1994, officially the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Mid-Hudson Bridge) is a toll bridge which carries highways US 44 and NY 55 across the Hudson River of New York between Poughkeepsie and Highland. The bridge is generally referred to only as the Mid-Hudson Bridge as opposed to by its full name, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Mid-Hudson Bridge. Roosevelt was Governor of New York at the time the bridge opened, and the bridge is located near Roosevelt's birthplace in Hyde Park. The suspension bridge is 3,000 feet (910 m) long, and has a clearance of 135 feet (41 m) above the Hudson. Chief engineer was Polish immigrant Ralph Modjeski, who had, decades earlier, engineered the strengthening of the nearby Po'K-Highland RR bridge. Primary contractor was American bridge Co (Ambridge, PA) with steel from Carnegie. What makes this bridge unlike most other suspension bridges is that the stiffening trusses were intentionally constructed on top of, not below, the deck. An example of unintentionally building the truss above the deck is the Whitestone Bridge about 75 miles (121 km) to the south in The Bronx, NY, after the Whitestone span encountered wind difficulties. In 2008, these trusses were removed, after aerodynamic improvements.

The Mid-Hudson bridge was built by the State of New York Department of Public Works in 1930. When completed, it had the sixth longest suspension bridge span in the world. Ownership of the bridge was transferred to the New York State Bridge Authority in 1933, shortly after the Authority was created.

Today, the bridge carries three lanes and a pedestrian/bicycle walkway over the Hudson. The center lane is generally closed, except for rush hour traffic eastbound from 6am to 9am, and westbound from 3pm to 6pm. The center lane is also occasionally opened when work is being done on either side of the bridge. Five lane signals (referred to as "gantries" by NYSBA) with either a green down arrow or a red "X" indicate which lanes are open for travel in a said direction; a yellow "X" indicates that a lane will close. Variable signs at either foot of the bridge are used to indicate lane closures, as both approaches are four lanes wide. This system is similar to that of the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge about 20 miles (32 km) to the south. The bridge has a computer-controlled LED decorative lighting system attached to the suspension cables, allowing the bridge to be decorated for Christmas (red, green) or the Fourth of July (red, white, and blue), and for other holidays. In 2009, local composer Joseph Bertolozzi completed Bridge Music, a project which allows listeners to hear the Mid-Hudson bridge played like a musical instrument. The work was created for New York's 400th anniversary observance of Henry Hudson's voyage up the Hudson. Originally intended to be a live performance piece , this "audacious plan" ( New York Times) to compose music for a suspension bridge using the bridge itself as the instrument brought Bertolozzi wide international attention. A recording of the results, the 2009 CD "Bridge Music" (on the Delos label DE1045), entered the Billboard Classical Crossover Music Chart at #18, , and has been released globally.


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