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Roebling's Aqueduct Bridge - A Piece Of History


The Roebling Aqueduct bridge crossing the Delaware River at Minisink Ford NY. It bridges to Lackawaxen PA.
Roebling's Aqueduct Bridge

If you like to see historical places or structures in the Hudson Valley, this is such a place. The Roebling Aqueduct Bridge.

I frequently travel Rt 97 on the western end of Orange County NY, from Port Jervis to Narrowsburg NY doing photographic jobs for clients. One day I decided to stop at a favorite crossing. One which I pass quite frequently but never had time to stop and photograph. Namely the Roebling Aqueduct bridge. It connects Lackawaxen PA with Minisink Ford NY. This is an interesting suspension bridge, built by engineer John Roebling in 1847, and is the oldest existing suspension bridge in the country. He is the same chap that built the Brooklyn Bridge in NYC. The Delaware Aqueduct was one of four suspension aqueducts designed by Roebling for the D&H Canal which accommodated two conflicting needs at the time. Canal traffic and timber rafting. With the D&H's rope ferry crossing the Delaware at Lackawaxen, there was always a major bottleneck at this location. With a constant threat of timber raft collisions, this was mitigated by the building of the suspension bridge. It is a very interesting construction and almost all of the existing ironwork including cables, saddles and suspenders are the same materials installed when the structure was built.

The white pine wooden superstructure of the Roebling Aqueduct  bridge.
Roebling Aqueduct Bridge superstructure

The wooden superstructure was replaced every 25 years and is made of white pine. According to historical records, the last surviving canal-era timbers were removed in the 1930's. In 1986, the superstructure was reconstructed using Roebling's original plans.

Today, you can walk across the bridge which is also a single lane vehicle bridge self policed by the driver.


You can see a video of this bridge here.

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