Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Get a piece of the bridge

Want to own part of the 120-year-old Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad Bridge?

Walkway Over the Hudson, the not-for-profit organization overseeing the bridge's transformation into the world's longest linear park/pedestrian walkway, is raising money for the project by selling pieces of the steel and iron elements (including railings, posts and spikes) that have been cleared from the bridge, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

"We’ve sold railroad spikes and nearly 200 stanchions that once held up the railings on the bridge. I’m told people are using these distinctive stanchions as decorative elements for gardening and landscaping," the group's Executive Director, Amy Husten, said in a press release.

The group has several hundred stanchions still available and they are being offered for $50 each. Spikes can be purchased for $10 each. Call 845-454-9649 for more information.

Workers needed to remove the pieces so they could start repairing steel beams and other elements of the bridge’s superstructure before installing the 6-foot-by-32-foot prefabricated concrete panels that will make up the Walkway’s new deck. They are now assembling a mammoth 100-ton crane that will be used to lay the concrete decking panels.

“If all goes as it should, we expect the construction crews to reach the western shoreline and begin heading out over the Hudson River by mid-October,” Walkway Chairman Fred Schaeffer said in the news release. “This puts us on schedule to finish the project by August, 2009” -- just in time for the area's major planned Quad celebrations.

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