Harlem River

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Coordinates: 40°50′05.00″N 73°56′02.85″W / 40.8347222°N 73.9341250°W / 40.8347222; -73.9341250 (Harlem River)

The Harlem River, shown in yellow, between the Bronx and Manhattan in New York City

The Harlem River is an 8-mile (13 km) tidal strait in New York, United States, flowing between the Hudson River and the East River and separating the island of Manhattan from the Bronx on the New York mainland.

The northern stretch, also called the Spuyten Duyvil ("spewing devil") Creek, has been significantly altered for navigation purposes. Originally it curved around the north of Marble Hill, but in 1895 the Harlem River Ship Canal was dug between Manhattan and Marble Hill, and in 1914 the original course was filled in.

Usage[edit]

Harlem River Drive and Harlem River Greenway run along the west bank of the river, and the Metro-North Railroad's Hudson Line and Major Deegan Expressway on the east.

The "C" Rock, with the Henry Hudson Bridge behind it and the Spuyten Duyvil Bridge in the distance in the open position.

The Harlem River was the traditional rowing course for New York, analogous to the Charles River in Boston and the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia. On the Harlem's banks is the boathouse for the Columbia University crew, and the river is the home course for the university's crew. The "C Rock" refers to a large Columbia varsity "C" painted on a rock face along the Hudson Line tracks. Also on the river are the Peter Jay Sharp Boathouse and Harlem River Community Rowing, two community rowing facilities. The river is used by crews from New York University, Fordham University, and Manhattan College, though the only university with permanent facilities on the river is Columbia.[citation needed]

Historically, the west bank of the Harlem River was also an amusement destination. The area between 190th and 192nd Streets was occupied by the Fort George Amusement Park, a trolley park/amusement park, from 1895 to 1914. Its site is now a seating area in Highbridge Park.[1] In the 1890s, the City of New York built a racetrack for horses, the Harlem River Speedway, along the riverbank of the park;[2] the project started construction in 1894[3] and opened in July 1898.[4] The Speedway later became the Harlem River Drive, and regular motorists were first allowed on the drive in 1919.[5]

Crossings[edit]

Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap 
Download coordinates as: KML · GPX

The Harlem River is spanned by seven swing bridges, three lift bridges, and four arch bridges,[6] and is navigable to any boat with less than 55 feet (16.8 m) of air draft. However, any boat requiring more than 5 feet (1.5 m) of clearance will require the Spuyten Duyvil Bridge to swing open. All other movable bridges on the Harlem River provide at least 24 feet (7.3 m) of clearance while closed, so boats and ships requiring between 5 and 24 feet (1.5 and 7.3 m) of clearance need only have one bridge swing open. These bridges replaced fixed bridges or lower bridges in the late 19th century to improve navigation. High Bridge was erected between 1837 and 1848 to carry the Croton Aqueduct across the river. It is the oldest bridge in New York City.

The New York City Department of Transportation advises that while they make every effort to ensure that all bridges are operating, many of them are under repair at any time, and outside contractors are responsible for opening of bridges under repair.

Crossing Image Carries Location Coordinates
Wards Island Bridge Wards Island Bridge 20070902-jag9889.jpg Wards Island Bridge 20111202-jag9889.jpg

Top: closed position
bottom: open position

Pedestrian/bicycle Manhattan and Wards Island 40°47′10″N 73°56′14″W / 40.7861°N 73.9371°W / 40.7861; -73.9371 (Ward's Island Bridge)
Robert F. Kennedy Triboro Lift Bridge (Harlem Lift Bridge) RFK Triboro Lift Bridge 20070902-jag9889.jpg NY State Route 900G (6 road lanes) Manhattan and Randall's Island 40°48′01″N 73°55′40″W / 40.8003°N 73.9278°W / 40.8003; -73.9278 (RFK Triboro Lift Bridge)
Willis Avenue Bridge
1901 Bridge
2010 Bridge
Top: 1901 bridge;
bottom: 2010 bridge
Northbound auto traffic; Pedestrian/bicycle Manhattan and the Bronx 40°48′13″N 73°55′44″W / 40.8035°N 73.9289°W / 40.8035; -73.9289 (Willis Avenue Bridge)
Third Avenue Bridge Third Avenue Bridge 20090530-jag9889.jpg Southbound auto traffic; Pedestrian/bicycle Manhattan and the Bronx 40°48′27″N 73°55′57″W / 40.8076°N 73.9325°W / 40.8076; -73.9325 (Third Avenue Bridge)
Lexington Avenue Tunnel IRT Lexington Avenue Line ("4" train"5" train"6" train"6" express train trains) Manhattan and the Bronx 40°48′34″N 73°56′00″W / 40.8095°N 73.9332°W / 40.8095; -73.9332 (Lexington Avenue Tunnel)
Park Avenue Bridge Park Avenue Bridge 20160917-jag9889.jpg Metro-North Railroad Manhattan and the Bronx 40°48′40″N 73°56′00″W / 40.8111°N 73.9333°W / 40.8111; -73.9333 (Park Avenue Bridge)
Madison Avenue Bridge Madison Avenue Bridge 20060916-jag9889.jpg Southbound/eastbound auto traffic; pedestrian/bicycle Manhattan and the Bronx 40°48′41″N 73°55′58″W / 40.8115°N 73.9327°W / 40.8115; -73.9327 (Madison Avenue Bridge)
149th Street Tunnel IRT White Plains Road Line ("2" train train) Manhattan and the Bronx 40°49′08″N 73°55′59″W / 40.8189°N 73.9331°W / 40.8189; -73.9331 (149th Street Tunnel)
145th Street Bridge 145 Street Bridge 20090525-jag9889.jpg Westbound/eastbound auto traffic; pedestrian/bicycle Manhattan and the Bronx 40°49′10″N 73°55′59″W / 40.8195°N 73.9331°W / 40.8195; -73.9331 (145th Street Bridge)
Macombs Dam Bridge Macombs Dam Bridge 20160917-jag9889.jpg Westbound/eastbound auto traffic; pedestrian/bicycle Manhattan and the Bronx 40°49′41″N 73°56′02″W / 40.8281°N 73.9339°W / 40.8281; -73.9339 (Macombs Dam Bridge)
Putnam Bridge (1881-1960)
Putnam Bridge.jpg
Ninth Avenue El Manhattan and the Bronx 40°49′56″N 73°56′03″W / 40.8322°N 73.9343°W / 40.8322; -73.9343 (Putnam Bridge)
Concourse Tunnel IND Concourse Line ("B" train"D" train trains) Manhattan and the Bronx 40°49′50″N 73°56′03″W / 40.8306°N 73.9341°W / 40.8306; -73.9341 (Concourse Tunnel)
High Bridge High Bridge 20160917-jag9889.jpg Pedestrian Manhattan and the Bronx 40°50′32″N 73°55′49″W / 40.8423°N 73.9303°W / 40.8423; -73.9303 (High Bridge)
Alexander Hamilton Bridge Alexander Hamilton Bridge 20090530-jag9889.jpg I-95.svg Interstate 95
US 1.svg U.S. Route 1
Manhattan and the Bronx 40°50′44″N 73°55′43″W / 40.8456°N 73.9287°W / 40.8456; -73.9287 (Alexander Hamilton Bridge)
Washington Bridge Washington Bridge 20090530-jag9889.jpg Westbound/eastbound auto traffic; pedestrian/bicycle Manhattan and the Bronx 40°50′49″N 73°55′41″W / 40.8469°N 73.9281°W / 40.8469; -73.9281 (Washington Bridge)
University Heights Bridge University Heights Bridge 20060916-jag9889.jpg Westbound/eastbound auto traffic; pedestrian/bicycle Manhattan and the Bronx 40°51′46″N 73°54′54″W / 40.8628°N 73.9150°W / 40.8628; -73.9150 (University Heights Bridge)
Broadway Bridge Broadway Bridge 20070902-jag9889.jpg US 9.svg US 9
IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line ("1" train train)
Manhattan Island and Marble Hill, Manhattan 40°52′25″N 73°54′40″W / 40.8736°N 73.9111°W / 40.8736; -73.9111 (Broadway Bridge)
Henry Hudson Bridge Henry Hudson Bridge 20171010-jag9889.jpg NY-9A.svg NY 9A
Henry Hudson Pkwy Shield.svg Henry Hudson Parkway
Manhattan and the Bronx 40°52′40″N 73°55′18″W / 40.8779°N 73.9218°W / 40.8779; -73.9218 (Henry Hudson Bridge)
Spuyten Duyvil Bridge Spuyten Duyvil Bridge 20120706-jag9889.jpg Amtrak Empire Connection Manhattan and the Bronx 40°52′42″N 73°55′32″W / 40.8783°N 73.9256°W / 40.8783; -73.9256 (Spuyten Duyvil Bridge)

See also[edit]

  • Geography of New York City
  • Geography of New York Harbor
  • List of New York rivers
  • Botella, Rodrigue Ruiz. Harlem River. ISBN 978-1-702-82578-8., a novel that highlight the Harlem River and its surroundings

References[edit]

External links[edit]