5 Things You May Not Know About the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge
Do you drive over it or pass it almost every day? Do you really know much about it? Here are a few things to think about it the next time you are getting ready to drive across it:
- You might call it the Kingston-Rhinecliff bridge, but its 'real' name is the George Clinton Kingston-Rhinecliff bridge. It was renamed this in 2000 to pay tribute to the first Governor of New York, and the fourth Vice President of the United States. Yes, Clinton was a resident of the Hudson Valley.
- Construction of the bridge started in 1954 and the bridge opened to traffic in February of 1957. According to the NYSBA, the first day the bridge was open, more than 500 people lined up to be the first ones to cross and tolls were not collected until 4 PM.
- The bridge was originally supposed to link downtown Rhinebeck with Kingston Point. The site was eventually moved 3-miles north because of "political and economic' factors.
- Did you know you can walk across the bridge? In 2019, a pedestrian walking path was installed, connecting the bridge to the New York State Rail Trail. Bicycles are also allowed to cross the span, but must use the shoulders of the traffic lanes, not the pedestrian path.
- The designer of the bridge, David B. Steinman, also designed the Brooklyn Bridge, the Hell Gate Bridge (East River NYC), the Mackinac Bridge, the George Washington Bridge, the Henry Hudson Bridge and about 18 other bridges, most of which are still in use today.