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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Some Interesting Facts about the 125 Street "Manhattan Valley" Viaduct

Source: Rogoff, David in "Contract I Construction" in "New York City's Subway Turns 100!", Electric Railroads / New York Division Bulletin,  October, 2004,  pp. 8-20.

   A few days ago. I posted a map dealing with the elevations around the 125th Street - Broadway IRT Station on the Number 1 line.  Here are interesting facts dealing with the street names, proposed extensions and structures:

  • The "Manhattan Valley Viaduct" was known as Section 12 of the subway contract and runs from the south side of La Salle Street which suprisingly was then called West 125 th Street to around West 133rd Street.
  • The original name of the station was "Manhattan Street".  Manhattan Street, now West 125th Street, is located in "Manhattan  Valley" and is the lowest point in elevation.  The elevation between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue does not change that much.
  • The distance of the three track steel and masonary viaduct is 0.41 miles.
  • Due to the steep grades, subway construction in this area is possible but difficult.
  • Originally, the plans were used to construct the viaduct using a series of plate girder spans on steel towers.
  • This type construction would have interfered with the street railway junction at 125th Street and Broadway because of the complicated layout and it was decided after revision to use two hinged arch steel units.
  • The span of the arch was 168 feet and the top of the rail was 52 feet above West 125th Street.
  • Graded embankments run to the portals just south of West 122nd Street and south of West 135th Street.
  • In 1921, Manhattan Street was changed to West 125th Street and the original West 125th Street was changed to LaSalle Street.
  • The "Fort Lee Connection" was a proposed two track steel elevated structure beginning at the portal at West 122nd Street, north to present day 125th Street and one track turning west under the viaduct, then both tracks going west to the Fort Lee Ferry Terminal on the Hudson River.  Some of the Manhattan and Bronx streetcars mentioned in this blog went to this busy location. 
  • To reach the Ferry, one track would have been built on each side of the viaduct.  I do not know how this configuration would look like but it was authorized in 1903 and never built.

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