Bridges may just be a means of getting from one end to the other, but in New York City, they serve a whole other purpose. The top-notch engineering and beautiful architecture they portray never fail to capture a passer-by’s attention. So, what is the best walk over Bridge in New York City? Or is there even one you can give precedence over the others? While choosing one among various contenders is hard, the following bridges are extraordinarily beautiful.
The history of this suspension bridge goes roughly back 100 years. Inaugurated in 1909, the Manhattan Bridge was designed by Leon Moisseiff. The Archway of this bridge was completed only six years later, in 1915, to pay homage to the beauty of the city. Today it connects downtown Brooklyn to lower Manhattan and is no less than a breathtaking architectural wonder. In fact, in 1975, it was also declared a landmark. Pedestrians often walk on the bridge’s lower level to get a stunning view of the Brooklyn Bridge.
Connecting Brooklyn to Manhattan and spanning the East River, the Brooklyn Bridge was designed by John Augustus Roebling, who unluckily underwent an incident on-site and died due to a tetanus infection later on. Following his untimely death, his son decided to continue leading the construction that officially began in 1869.
However, only a few days into the project, he was also struck with decompression sickness. His wife, Emily Warren Roebling, served as the mode of communication between the workers and her husband. About 14 years later, the bridge finally opened, showcasing the extraordinary design skills of both John and his son.
With its pointed archways and stone towers, it’s nothing less than an iconic bridge today for locals and visitors alike. The neo-Gothic icon went on to become a National Historic Landmark in 1964. Today, it’s one of the most easily accessible bridges that allow pedestrians as well as tourists to take in the gorgeous views of the bridge itself along with the East River and New York on the whole.
The question still lingers. What is the best walkover bridge in New York? Fortunately or unfortunately, the quest is about to get trickier with the Bow Bridge’s addition to the list. As the longest bridge in Central Park, it connects the Ramble to Cherry Hill. Visitors are required to cross the lake to reach the other end, but it only makes the journey more interesting.
Designed by Calvert Vaux and Jacob Wrey Mould, the bridge was completed and opened to the public in 1862. However, about 20 years later, the eight urns that initially existed on the bridge disappeared. It was only recently that craftsmen recreated the eight urns, and they now flank the walkway. Decorated with arabesques and volutes, the bridge serves as a low, span arch allowing visitors to be absolutely enthralled by the views.
Interestingly enough, it is one of the most sought-after destinations for wedding proposals mainly because of the stunning architecture boasting the bridge’s romantic elements. All in all, the bridges and arches are a major part of Central Park’s circulation system. Keeping the same in mind, the designers ensured the creation of an intricate but beautiful system of carriage drives, a bridle path, and pedestrian paths to help visitors experience the park’s landscapes in their glory.
The Gapstow bridge that Jacob Wrey Mould originally designed in 1874 had to undergo major rebuilding and renovation owing to the quick wearing down of the structure. Later on, it was designed by Caudwell and Howard in the year 1896. Today, it stretches across the 59th Street Pond and allows visitors easy access to the wonderful views of the city.
However, it wouldn’t be fair not to boast the rustic stone construction that makes it unique. This picturesque spot is enjoyed by visitors all year round and is one of the most popular spots for taking photographs.
The design of the new bridge is quite similar to that of the Ponte di San Francesco, Italy. Mainly composed of Manhattan schist, the bridge was designed to last for decades. With a height of 12 feet, the base of this structure spans 44 feet, and the side walls are about 76 feet long.
Wedding proposals are not the only specialty of this bridge. Many famous films have also been shot here. Among the ones that most people can easily recall are Home Alone 2, Weekend at Bernie’s, and many more. No wonder it’s just the right spot to set climatic scenes for various stories.
When we think of the question, “what is the best walkover bridge in New York?” we often limit our perception to the views a particular bridge allows us to enjoy. However, a bridge must do more than just that to qualify as the best one in a city like New York.
This is where the Gapstow bridge takes the lead. Not many spots allow visitors to bring their bikes, but here, biking is a wonderful way to explore the top attractions of Central Park. After all, there is no way to get the most out of your journey than through biking. You have to get your well-maintained bike or get one inside the park and pedal through its picturesque sights like never before.
The Bayonne Bridge became accessible to visitors in 1931 after being designed by Cass Gilbert and Othmar Amman for years. Connecting Bayonne to Staten Island, the bridge stretches across the Kill Van Kill. About 50 years after its opening, it received the title of being National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. However, the most interesting aspect of its design is the parabola-like appearance. More recently, the bridge became accessible to pedestrians after the walkway construction was completed.
For over four decades, the bridge stood as the world’s longest steel-arch bridge. In fact, the arch is about 70% longer than the Hell Gate Bridge, which was the previous record holder. However, just when the Bayonne Bridge was opened, the Sydney Harbour Bridge was also on its way to getting completed in Australia. The latter closely follows the design of the Bayonne Bridge.
Just a few years ago, the bridge went through an innovative Navigational Clearance Program that aimed to raise its roadway by 64 feet. This way, more traffic, particularly that of container ships, was able to pass underneath it. The iconic parabolic arch has certainly helped the bridge become a contender for a spot in the National Register of Historic Places.
Did you know that the High Bridge is the oldest surviving bridge in New York City?
This bridge, originally served as an aqueduct, was inaugurated in 1848 after undergoing construction as a stone arch bridge. While it initially connected the Bronx and Manhattan, it underwent a dramatic demolition in 1928.
Five of its stone arches were first demolished and then replaced by a steel arch. This change is precisely what enhanced its appearance and gave it a unique look that will certainly go down in the books. Today, it has a beautiful steel arch on the Manhattan side and stone arches on the Bronx side.
After being shut down for restoration, it was reopened in 2015 as a pedestrian walkway. Nonetheless, it has been quite an engineering challenge, and nothing as high as 126 feet or as long as 1,450 feet has been attempted in the United States.
Let’s revisit the question we started with. What is the best walkover bridge in New York? It’s hard to choose a winner, given how unique each bridge’s aesthetics and history are. Nonetheless, there isn’t a single bridge in New York that doesn’t serve valuable purposes. From allowing traffic to pass through them smoothly to providing pedestrians with safe walking space, each bridge has something to offer to locals and visitors alike. After all, what’s a better way to witness the city’s gorgeous skyline than by taking a walk on one of these bridges?