Amtrak and the Greater Astoria Historical Society celebrated the 100th anniversary of the construction of the Hell Gate Bridge Monday with not only experts on the history of the railroad overpass, but engineers and thrill-seekers sharing their love for the steel arch that connects Queens to Randalls Island.

The first passenger train made the crossing over Hell Gate in April 1917 after construction was completed as a joint venture between the Pennsylvania and the New Haven Railroads, Deputy Chief Engineer of Structures for Amtrak Jim Richter.

“In those days, the railroads were one of the most powerful and influential businesses in the country because they moved everybody. So, if you study up on the history of the railroads, it was really instrumental in the development of this country,” Richter said.

The right of way was purchased by the Amtrak in the 1970s.

Today, train passenger traveling between New York and Boston still travel over Hell Gate.

Bob Singleton, executive director of the historical society, said the bridge is remarkable for the mastery of engineering that went into it at a time when computers were non-existent and slide-rulers were the builders’ best friend. Singleton compared the decades of work that went into the Second Avenue Subway to Hell Gate, which was built in only a few short years entirely with private capital funds from the railroad companies.


Read more here

Related Articles

Hell Gate Centennial Committee Holds Anniversary Fun Run

The Hell Gate Bridge’s 100th anniversary was celebrated in Astoria Park with the Hell Gate Road Runners, a Kids’ 100-Meter Dash and a 5K Fun Run through the park. The event also included a Little Ones Parade and a special Veterans’ Memorial Service. The first 300...

Best Photos of the Hell Gate Bridge Sought for Centennial Celebration

ASTORIA — The Hell Gate Bridge is celebrating its 100th birthday this year, and a neighborhood group is asking residents to submit their best photos of the span as part of the ongoing centennial celebration. The Hell Gate Centennial Committee, which formed last year...

New Murals Celebrate Hell Gate Bridge Centennial

The base of the Hell Gate Bridge is getting a new look as it celebrates its 100th birthday. The New York Anti-Crime Agency teamed up with artists from all over the world to beautify the base of the bridge in Astoria Park. The Agency holds safety seminars and graffiti...

Hell Gate Bridge’s Centennial Has Strong Astoria Connection

One of the most important architectural sites on the East River is turning 100 years old.  Borough Reporter Ruschell Boone has more on the Hell Gate Bridge and its significance to the city and one Queens community. It's one of the city's iconic structures, and a...

Astoria Group Wants to Light Up Hell Gate Bridge

QUEENS — A community group in Astoria wants to show a local landmark some love — by lighting it up. The New York Anti-Crime Agency, a nonprofit that runs safety seminars and neighbourhood graffiti cleanups, is pushing to get lights added to the Hell Gate Bridge,...

Astoria’s Hell Gate Bridge Turns 100 This Week

Paragraph Summary: Happy birthday, Hell Gate!The Hell Gate Bridge, which stretches over the East River from Astoria to Wards Island, will celebrate its 100th year on Thursday, marking a century since officials celebrated its opening with a dedication ceremony in 1917....