Aerial view of viaductThe New York Times: "Staten Island Opens Mile-Long Viaduct," Feb. 26, 1937
In the mid-1930s, the Public Works Administration (PWA) funded a $6,000,000 grade crossing elimination program for what was then Staten Island Rapid Transit Railway (SIRT). The final project was the mile-long Port Richmond-Tower Hill viaduct, which, at the time, was “the largest grade crossing elimination unit in the United States” (New York Times). The project sought to put an end to accident prone crossings. Arthur S. Tuttle, the State Director of the PWA, opened the newly elevated stations at Port Richmond and Tower Hill in a ribbon cutting ceremony.
On February 26, 1937, The New York Times announced the opening of the viaduct and the completion of the project with the following words:
“This viaduct, at Elm Park, is more than a mile long and spans eight crossings on the North Shore division of the Staten Island Rapid Transit Railroad…A two-car special train carrying Federal state and borough officials made the run over the viaduct and along the entire seven mile route project, which eliminates 34 grade crossings on the north and south shores of the island…The elimination structures are at Elm Park, Mariners Harbor, Port Richmond, Tompkinsville, Stapleton and Fort Wadsworth” (New York Times).
SIRT eliminated operation of its North and South Shore Lines in 1953. However, much of the North Shore line is still intact (Forgotten New York).
National Archives and Records Administration, Negative P-1616
New York Times: "Staten Island Opens Mile-Long Viaduct", last accessed October 2015
Brooklyn Daily Eagle: "Open S.I. Viaduct; Longest in Nation", last accessed October 2015
Forgotten New York: "Staten Island Railway", last accessed October 2015
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