The Mid-Hudson Bridge: Heights & Sights

I know I talk about the Walkway — the old railroad bridge in my town that was transformed into the world’s longest pedestrian walkway — far too often. So this week’s post is dedicated to the Mid-Hudson Bridge, the one parallel to the Walkway, used primarily by cars. 

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A view of the Mid-Hudson Bridge from the ground.

The Mid-Hudson Bridge, formerly called the Franklin D. Roosevelt Mid-Hudson Bridge, connects Ulster and Dutchess Counties, 315 feet above the Hudson River.

I couldn’t tell you the number of times I’ve driven across it (we’re talking thousands of times here), but I can tell you that I walked across it for the first time a few weeks ago.

Pedestrians have been allowed to walk across the Mid-Hudson (when it’s open, during daylight hours) since 1970, but I have never had a reason to; now that the Walkway has become so popular, many people choose to walk that instead.

I wanted to walk across it to see how different it is from the Walkway. My mom claimed that you can feel the suspension bridge sway, especially with all of cars whizzing past you, which isn’t the most pleasant sensation.

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I have to admit that I don’t like heights. At all. And being on that bridge freaked me out at first. The narrow path also gave rise to some unsettling feelings. 

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As soon as you get past the part above land and walk above the water, you can see spaces in the grates. That made me feel a little queasy. If I were to drop my car keys, there was a good chance they’d skirt their way down between the cracks and fall into the Hudson to be lost forever.

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Through the grates you can see the muddy Hudson River.

I held my belongings as tight as I could between my sweaty palms. (Not only from nerves — it was freakin’ hot that afternoon!)

The bridge is known for its famous Bridge Music, which is a compilation of tunes you can jam to on the bridge. Joseph Bertolozzi had the idea back in 2009, and it’s been an attraction ever since. Basically, he turns the bridge into an instrument and composes music by tapping and hitting the bridge with other objects to create different sounds. 

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The bridge is also quite famous for it’s peregrine falcon nest. Unfortunately I didn’t see any the day I went, but I did hear on the news that this is the twenty-something year these birds have returned here.

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I walked the half-mile length bridge with ease, but never got too close to the side overlooking the water. If anything, I enjoyed seeing the walkway from eye-level and looking at the perfect puffs of clouds floating in the sky. 

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A view of the Walkway from the Mid-Hudson Bridge.

 

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