“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Red Hook in Dutchess County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

The New York State Bridge Authority

The New York State Bridge Authority Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Steve Stoessel, December 6, 2020
1. The New York State Bridge Authority Marker
The New York State Bridge Authority (NYSBA) operates five bridges over the Hudson River: the Bear Mountain, Newburgh-Beacon, Mid-Hudson, The Kingston-Rhinecliff, and Rip Van Winkle Bridge, and owns and maintains the structure of the Walkway Over the Hudson pedestrian bridge. NYSBA was established in 1932 to provide a funding source for bridge construction separate from state finances. NYSBA is authorized to raise money by issuing bonds and to repay investors with moneys collected from tolls.

The Bridge Authority is committed to providing the people of the state of New York with reliable, safe, and convenient river crossings, through the efforts of its employees, many of whose families have worked for NYSBA for multiple generations.

Did You Know?
• The Bridge Authority has always been financially self-sufficient. It operates without federal or state tax monies and reinvests toll revenues to maintain and improve these vital, historic Hudson River crossings

• Passenger vehicle tolls on the Bridge Authority five bridges are among the lowest nationwide for self-supporting transportation agencies

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Tolls today actually lower, in real dollars, than when they were in 1933, when the Bridge Authority began operations.

• The Bridge Authority has one of highest bond ratings of any public transportation entity in the United States which helps keep bond and annual costs low.

• The Bridge Authority’s employee safety record has earned “substantial discount” from the state insurance fund, protecting workers and reducing costs.

Original Commissioners
The Bridge Authority was specifically created to finance construction of the Rip Van Winkle Bridge and to operate the Mid-Hudson Bridge. It is governed by a board of commissioners appointed by the governor to serve five-year terms without pay. The first board consisted of three commissioners, Clifford L. Miller (center), Addison P. Jones (right) and Robert Hoe (left) who were appointed by Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932. Since then, the number of commissioners has fluctuated between five and seven, with commissioners representing Columbia, Greene, Ulster, Dutchess, Orangs, and Westchester Counties.

James F. Loughran, Chairman of the New York State Bridge Authority from 1949 until his sudden death in 1954 was a civil engineering graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a master’s degree in highway engineering from Columbia University. After a brief
The New York State Bridge Authority Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Steve Stoessel, December 6, 2020
2. The New York State Bridge Authority Marker
stint surveying caves of the New York Geologist’s office, he was appointed Ulster County Superintendent of Highways. Remaining in that position for 44 years, Loughran became widely known as an expert on rural roads. Robert Hoe, one of the Bridge Authority’s three original members, became Chairman after Loughran’s death.

Photo Credit: Kingston Daily Freeman, May 10, 1954

Preventive Maintenance of NYSBA Bridges
Maintain crews at each facility wash the bridges every spring from the top of the roadway deck down to the bottom of the superstructure. This washes the sand, salt, and debris accumulations from the prior year off the bridgeto help lessen the potential for corrosion. Twice a year the bearings on the bridges are greased in order to facilitate the thermal expansion of the bridge spans. The maintenance crews annually clean and paint portions of the bridges and perform minor structural repairs as required.

The Bridge Authority maintains five and twenty year capital plans. This is a proactive approach to schedule anticipated maintenance, completed by outside contractors, that is beyond the scope of the Authority’s maintenance crews who handle all day-to-day and annual upkeep on the bridges.

Lower Panel (Left to Right):
The Bear Mountain Bridge is a parallel wire cable
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suspension bridge. It was designed by Howard C. Baird and built in 1923-1924 by the Bear Mountain Hudson River Bridge Company.

The Newburgh-Beacon Bridge is an articulated deck truss bridge designed by Modjeski & Masters. Its north span was built in 1961-1963. Its south span in 1976-1980.

The Mid-Hudson Bridge is a parallel wire cable suspension bridge with suspended side panels. It was designed by Ralph Modjeski and built in 1925-1930.

The Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge is a continuous under-deck truss bridge designed by David B. Steinman and built in 1954-1957.

The Rip Van Winkle Bridge is a cantilevered and suspended deck truss bridge designed by Glenn B. Woodruff and built in 1933-1935.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Bridges & Viaducts. A significant historical year for this entry is 1932.
Location. 41° 58.392′ N, 73° 55.908′ W. Marker is in Red Hook, New York, in Dutchess County. Marker is on Route 199, 0.6 miles east of River Road (County Route 103), on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Red Hook NY 12571, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Scenic Splendor Unsurpassed Anywhere (here, next to this marker); The Bridge Engineers (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Building the Bridge (about 300 feet away); Hudson River National Historic Landmark District (approx. 0.8 miles away); Old Rhinebeck (approx. 2.3 miles away); St. Margaret's (approx. 2.6 miles away); David Van Ness (approx. 3.1 miles away); Hendricks House (approx. 3.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Red Hook.
Credits. This page was last revised on January 15, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 11, 2021, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. This page has been viewed 118 times since then and 34 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 11, 2021, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Nov. 29, 2023