The Dunn Memorial Bridge is one of several bridges to cross the Hudson River at Albany, New York. It carries US Highway 9, 20, and NYS Bicycle Route 5 from Rensselaer to the foot of the Empire State Plaza. The bridge reference number is 1093029, and it's state route reference number is 913V.
The bridge is named after Albany native Private Parker F. Dunn of the 312th Infantry. During World War One, Dunn was killed when he volunteered to run important information to a forward brigade across open territory. He was posthumously given the Medal of Honor.
The current incarnation of the bridge was built in 1969, one year after the Patroon Island Bridge finished construction a few miles north. The Dunn bridge is mainly steel girder, using reinforced pilliars sunk into the riverbed and the shore and both sides for support. It was originally built for four lanes in either direction, but due to the cancellation of surrounding highway projects, the bridge runs under capacity by a large margin.
The western end of the bridge was originally supposed to provide a connection to Interstate 787, tunnel under the Plaza, and connect to the Mid-Crosstown Arterial. While the interchange with 787 is complete and fully functional, and MCA was never built, and the highway under the Plaza ends with some street ramps and a tight U-turn.
The eastern end did not fare and better. The bridge was to split once approaching the eastern shore. The main line was to run through the city of Rensselaer, and connect to Interstate 90, just a few miles away. However, the construction of the connecting highway would have destroyed a large chunk of town, and the plans were cancelled. Instead, all traffic is dumped onto the second half of the split, which twists and turns it's way to a connection with the Columbia Turnpike.
The unused land underneath the eastern end of the bridge was turned into Riverfront Park by the city of Rensselaer. There is a set of tennis courts, a baseball diamond, and some playground equipment. Looking up from the park gives an excellent view of the underside of the bridge, where some Peregrine Falcons have built a nest. This event has obviously caused a lot of excitement in the community, and the Empire State Museum has set up a webcam on the nest.
One of the future plans for the bridge is to construct light rail in the unused median lanes to connect the transportation center in Rensselaer with the Empire State Plaza. At this time, no official plans are in place.
The falcon webcam can be found at:
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