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The Bridges of New Jersey

Portraits of Garden State Crossings

The Bridges of New Jersey
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New Jersey is sandwiched between the Hudson and Delaware Rivers, with the Raritan, Passaic, and Navesink cutting swaths across it. In spite of the state's relatively small size, over six thousand bridges span its varied landscape. They traverse rivers, streams, railroads, and roadways. Several dozen bridges cut across the Delaware River alone, carrying pedestrian, vehicular, and railroad traffic. Three connect the state to Staten Island. Some are steeped in history, dating back to the colonial era and the Revolutionary war. Others are recognized worldwide for their size or significance in the annals of engineering.

In The Bridges of New Jersey, Steven M. Richman provides a rare photographic and poetic journey across sixty of the state's bridges, ranging from impressive suspension spans such as the Ben Franklin and George Washington Bridges, to the small wrought iron and stone bridges that are cherished by local citizens. The book provides a rich diversity of stories that place the bridges in the context of New Jersey history and culture. Richman also explores the contribution New Jersey bridges have made to engineering-some of the most prominent engineers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries either lived or established businesses in the Garden State or designed its bridges.

Lavishly illustrated with over seventy photographs, this book is much more than a documentary survey. It is a visual portrait that beautifully captures the metaphoric significance and aesthetic pleasures of New Jersey's bridges, and indeed all bridges. Perhaps more than any other structure built by humans, bridges typify progress and they give us a sense of connectedness. The Bridges of New Jersey provides a compelling visual demonstration of these symbolic functions, as well as their practical purposes and engineering accomplishments.

 

Rutgers University Press; March 2005
197 pages; ISBN 9780813537825
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