10 Facts You Didn't Know About Hell Gate Bridge

Beyond the George Washington and Brooklyn Bridge, how much do you really know about New York's bridges? There are over 60 bridges of all sizes in New York City alone; 10 of which hold landmark statuses. One of my favorites? The Hell Gate bridge. Once a world leader, preceding its splotchy paint job, the rail bridge holds intriguing qualities that helped put it on the map.

Here are 10 facts you probably did not know about New York City's Hell Gate Bridge:
  1. Completed in 1916, the Hell Gate Bridge is also known as the New York Connecting Railroad Bridge.
  2. The structure is one of only three New York City landmarked bridges not operated by the Department of Transportation.
  3. The railroad bridge was originally constructed to link New York, New England, and Long Island rail lines.
  4. The Hell Gate Bridge was the longest steel-arch bridge in the world.
  5. The bridge was named after the narrow channel of strong waters and dangerous rocks in the East River running underneath the structure (known as Hell Gate).
  6. The bridge's abandoned look comes from a bad paint job in the early 1990s, after unknowingly switching from lead-based paint to a new formula that quickly faded upon drying. (They are still fighting about that one.)
  7. Hell Gate Bridge was the original inspiration for Australia's famous Sydney Habour Bridge.
  8. It is estimated that it would take at least a millennium for the bridge to collapse.
  9. During World War II the bridge was targeted by Nazi Germany. Luckily, the agents were detected by U.S. shore patrol and the operation failed.
  10. Walk along the grassy pathways and small parks nearby and you can watch one hell of a sunset near the bridge.

Olivia Christine is a Travel Writer and native New Yorker from the South Bronx. No, she doesn't know J.Lo personally. Yes, she has her driver license.