1 vote

CSX - Broadway/Colonie Street Overpass


Railroad bridge over Broadway

Photo taken by Frank Hicks in September 2011


BH Photo #219328


Street Views 


Baltimore Through Truss bridge over Broadway/Colonie Street in Albany
Albany County, New York
Open to traffic
- A & P Roberts Co. of Pencoyd, Pennsylvania (Fabricator)
- William J. Wilgus (New York Central Railroad Chief Engineer)
- Amtrak (AMTK)
- CSX Railroad (CSX)
- New York Central & Hudson River Railroad (NYC&HR)
- New York Central Railroad (NYC)
Baltimore Through Truss
Span length: 133.9 ft.
Total length: 133.9 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+42.65877, -73.74706   (decimal degrees)
42°39'32" N, 73°44'49" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/602689/4723683 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Troy South
Inventory numbers
NY 7200339 (New York State bridge identification number)
BH 25723 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • March 8, 2019: New photos from Geoff Hubbs
  • April 14, 2018: Updated by Royce and Bobette Haley: Added category "NYC & HR Railroad Co"
  • April 13, 2018: New photos from Royce and Bobette Haley
  • April 11, 2018: Updated by Royce and Bobette Haley: Added category "NYC & HR Railroad"
  • January 10, 2017: New Street View added by Dana and Kay Klein
  • November 22, 2011: Updated by Frank Hicks: Updated to Baltimore through truss
  • November 2, 2011: New photo from Frank Hicks



CSX - Broadway/Colonie Street Overpass
Posted April 18, 2018, by Luke

That's why I used the "gloat plate" comparison in the first place.

As to why, your guess is as good as mine, as John's found bridges in the middle-of-nowhere that are completely over-built and over-engineered for being in the middle-of-nowhere.

As for the " Nor did the highway Dept. "design" bridges" quip, that depends entirely on the DOT. I know Iowa designed their own, led by Marston and briefly by McCollough, and their subordinates who are unmentioned by name. Nonetheless, the designs were in-house designs by already-hired staff, not outside contractors.

And there /are/ railroads who have in-house designs, but 1) There's no clear proof of that with this plaque, much less the railroad from the scant research I've done. 2) Those departments had specific names, like "Mont Claire Shops" in the case of the B&O or "Oakland Shipyard" in the case of SP's transbay ferries, not just the railroad tossed in the builder box.

CSX - Broadway/Colonie Street Overpass
Posted April 18, 2018, by Royce and Bobette Haley (roycehaley111 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Thinking about this a little more a I am wondering, how is listing the RR really "gloating" seems listing the president or chief Eng. might actually be gloating as well, why would you post it on a bridge, at the time of completion, when there is zero expectation it will ever be seen by anyone other than a few RR employees who already know the RR built it? Gloat plate just does not ring true.

CSX - Broadway/Colonie Street Overpass
Posted April 18, 2018, by Luke

1) You demanded I post proof of builders and gloat plates using the same plaque shape.

2) My argument was, and still is, that the NYC&HR on that plaque is nothing more than the "County Name" on a dedication/gloat plate.

It's a giant "Hello! My name is:" sticker.

IF they'd built it, they'd have mentioned their own iron/steel works, a la B&O and their Mont Claire Shop, but they don't, they explicitly mention A&P Roberts Co./Pencoyd.

CSX - Broadway/Colonie Street Overpass
Posted April 17, 2018, by Luke
CSX - Broadway/Colonie Street Overpass
Posted April 16, 2018, by Luke

1) https://bridgehunter.com/nc/haywood/870079/

One of several bridges (I never specified railroad.) you can find across the site where the "dedication plates" and builder's plates are the same.

2) Warrens with verts handle loads differently than those without verts

Same with Camelback, which is a derivation of the Parker type with a polygonal top chord of exactly five slopes.

Denoting subtypes that are functionally different from the original type isn't a redundancy.

Arches have been made from: Stone, brick, iron, steel, concrete, and even plastics (Though those currently stay in test labs.)

Specifying which type of arch (Concrete arch, Brick arch, Stone-and-brick arch, etc.) it is, isn't a redundancy. It's specificity.

If you're referring to the "Concrete" category Amanda created, it's pointless.

"Railroad" as a genericism exists in case James wants to install a filter people can use to filter all railroad bridges out.

CSX - Broadway/Colonie Street Overpass
Posted April 16, 2018, by Ed Hollowell (erhollowell [at] aol [dot] com)

"6) The "free market economy" cannot exist without governmental regulation. The moment you strip that away, the moment the free market ceases to exist and we veer further towards an oligarchy."

Wow, do you have the name of the laundry which did your brain washing? Oligarchy only exists when the government supports it. The main function of a just government is to prevent stealing and to make sure no one is forced to do things against their interest or wishes. Oligarchs generally use governments to enforce policies in their interest. If the oligarchs did not have government policy on their side they would cease to exist.

Take Walmart for example. They have been, since at least the Clinton administration, working to make politics work in their favor. Tax abatements, zoning, etc. If Walmart isn't benefiting directly they work to prevent competition from springing up through regulation which act as a barrier to entry for competition.

Do you suppose Carlos Slim, the Mexican telecom billionaire has to think very long about who would be his friend in the government?

The way to make a fortune into a massive fortune is to make the government your business partner, and limit your competition.

CSX - Broadway/Colonie Street Overpass
Posted April 16, 2018, by Royce and Bobette Haley (roycehaley111 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Please provide a couple of those numerous examples of gloat plates (listing politicians or executives that look like RR builder plates).

Provide the builder plates for the RR in question.

I added it as shown on the BUILDERS PLATE, Unlike others I did not edit it to my personal specifications, to appease my sense of...?

Yes Warren is a subtype, so? It is still redundant, it is not needed, it is simply a way to further describe what you have already described. "Concrete arch" and "concrete" categories. It is made of concrete? DUH it is a concrete arch. "Norfolk Southern Railway" is a "Railroad"? Dude, I am now laughing so hard I am almost crying, are you actually defending these as not redundant?

Free Market can only be regulated? You obviously do not understand either concept. Free Market=voluntary interactions=Moral. Regulated=supported by force (ultimately death as every single law is)=Immoral. It is shocking that an adult educated person in America could confuse the two.


Yes there are shades of grey in life. However, you are mistaken if you believe every government is not "evil". All governments are run on the bases of a monopoly of force and support of laws through aggression, intimidation and coercion (immoral). The very definition of tyranny is a government the prohibits actions to its people while it, itself, retains those actions. Ask yourself this-Do you have the Right to take your neighbors money without his permission? Do you have the Right to instigate aggression against your neighbor? If you do not, which I believe any reasonable person would agree, then how can you properly delegate a Right, you do not have, to the government. The founding Fathers were very aware of this, this is why the were insistent that if we allowed a government to use force over us that we would severely limit their authority but like all governments, they simply ignored the constraints and do as they please.

With that said, the plaque is pictured in the thread, do you think it is a builders plate, intended to show NYC&HR as the builders of the bridge?

CSX - Broadway/Colonie Street Overpass
Posted April 15, 2018, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)


Please remember that the world consists of shades of grey. No system is perfect. Not all governments are evil, not everyone who works within a bad organization is bad.

I've seen lots of well intentioned people/organizations do horrible things for the 'right' reasons and I've seen evil/bad people do really good things (not necessarily for the right reason...).

On old truss bridges there are often two plaques installed by the builder: 1. the builder's plaque. 2. the plaque listing the freeholders who gave the builder the job.

Actually, on Carlton Bridge it was the freeholders plaque that allowed the build date to be corrected as there was only a narrow window when the three served together!

Just my two cents.


Art S.

CSX - Broadway/Colonie Street Overpass
Posted April 15, 2018, by Luke

1) Again, dogwhistles.

2) There are numerous examples of political gloat plates being the same pattern plaque as the manufacturers.

3) It is a redundancy, as the way you've added it, it's the same name as the railroad category, just in the oh-so-ironic reporting mark format.

4) It's a proposal for when we have actual proof of a "Railroad Bridge Department" designing/building/erecting the bridge.

We have Railway Age articles saying that MILW built their own concrete bridges.

John has made the supposition that Northern Pacific designed all their bridges, and has made cited arguments to support.

No such citation has been made here.

5) Warren w/ all verts is a subtype. Arches have been built in multiple mediums, so concrete is a valid identifier for categorization, as is "railroad".

6) The "free market economy" cannot exist without governmental regulation. The moment you strip that away, the moment the free market ceases to exist and we veer further towards an oligarchy.

CSX - Broadway/Colonie Street Overpass
Posted April 15, 2018, by Luke

1) The states did not choose the contracts, the counties did. And therein lies the source of the problem: Counties got bribed by companies to give them their lucrative annual bridge contracts (e.g. Webster County gave N.M. Stark the contract for all their concrete bridges in 1911.), and no state-level oversight led to those contracts going unchallenged.

The ISHC only mandated that bridges and roads be built to their standardized plans, and that bidding be open to all on a bridge-by-bridge/road-by-road basis instead an annual basis.

Creating an open, level bidding field is not "socialism", as you keep dogwhistling about.

2) We don't treat every builder plate the same. Hence why we omit politician names and only list the contractor and engineer/design firm from plates that feature both.

3) Redundant categories is not a deflection. It is a valid concern. You believe that the railroad should be listed as the designer. I know this won't end up being limited this to this bridge (Think "If you give a mouse a cookie."), and then we'll (Yet again.) have multiple categories for the same things.

Hence why I pitched using a singular generic "Railroad Forces/Railroad Bridge Department category (Also not a deflection. Pitching a plausible solution != deflection.) in which one can specify the railroad within parenthesis, like I went in and did with Mr. Wilgus as the chief engineer of the NYC&HR.

CSX - Broadway/Colonie Street Overpass
Posted April 15, 2018, by Luke

And to reply to your comment of "Thank you, however, for your valuable opinions, you are spot on, on many subjects.":

Thank you for actually doing fieldwork and taking numerous photographs of structures, especially remains.

John and yourself do a lot of legwork taking multiple hi-res detail shots of bridges some users wouldn't even bother visiting.

So while we may disagree a LOT, I can still appreciate your contributions as much as you seem to appreciate mine.

CSX - Broadway/Colonie Street Overpass
Posted April 15, 2018, by Luke

Not really, as those are still monopolies. Single companies still had exclusive control within those districts, making it impossible for local builders to flourish, or for another competitor to make a dent.

And the state didn't cause these monopolies to form. The problem was that prior to formation of the ISHC, the was little to no uniformity between the counties, and even less oversight. (Which I'm sure you'll somehow argue isn't a bad thing, based on the reply you posted while I was typing this up. I mean, it's not like a complete lack of oversight caused the banking crisis and fucked the world economy... ...Or unchecked lobbying (AKA legalized bribery) in our own government resulted in a government that listens to corporations more than their own constituencies or anything like that...)

And it's not deflection to correct you on your own historically inaccurate rebuttal to my point.

And my point still stands that the "NYC&HR" on the plaque doesn't actually mean anything related to the builder, and that your statement that "the railroad built the bridge" is false.

The plaque states that NYC&HR's then-chief engineer (Un-fun fact: He was ousted after an electric locomotive designed by him had a fatal derailment.) designed it, and that A&P Roberts fabricated/built it.

What the plaque doesn't actually tell us, is if railroad forces, day laborers, convict labor, or A&P Roberts themselves erected the bridge. You're purely guesstimating that they're the ones who erected it.

CSX - Broadway/Colonie Street Overpass
Posted April 15, 2018, by Luke

And your challenge is incorrect, as prior to DOTs (Then-called Highway Commissions) standardizing designs, only a few companies built bridges in a given region, snuffing out local competition.

In Iowa, the case was that the bridge companies had divided the state into districts, with certain companies having monopolies over their district.

e.g. Clinton Bridge & Iron Works in northeastern Iowa, J.E. Jayne & Sons (Re-badged Stupp Bros.) in Johnson County, the King & WIBCO duopoly in western Iowa, etc..

It wasn't until the ISHC standardized bridge designs (With multiple uncredited "underling" engineers beneath Conde McCullough and Anson Marston.) that those districts were really busted and small local contractors flourished.

CSX - Broadway/Colonie Street Overpass
Posted April 15, 2018, by Luke

It's already listed, you've just created a duplicate, superfluous category in a different box.

As for the rest of your drivel, I suggest you actually read up on the Iowa Stat Highway Commission's standardized designs and the Michigan Standardized Bridge Designs before bloviating.

CSX - Broadway/Colonie Street Overpass
Posted April 14, 2018, by Luke

That counterargument would work if and only if most state DOTs hadn't have designed their own standardized bridges in order to bust monopolies. (Iowa, Michigan, etc.)

CSX - Broadway/Colonie Street Overpass
Posted April 14, 2018, by Luke

Now, in cases of timber trestles, and in certain railroad-specific cases (The Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul, & Pacific is a glaring example of this), railroad's own bridge departments fabricated (In the cases of concrete and timber structures) and erected (In the case of pre-fabricated steel structures) bridges

I believe this preexisting "generic" category suffices for all those entries, without having to create multiple categories with the same railroad name: https://bridgehunter.com/category/builder/railroad-company-f...

CSX - Broadway/Colonie Street Overpass
Posted April 14, 2018, by Luke

Except the category for New York Central & Hudson River Railroad already exists

Having a duplicate category adds nothing, especially since the railroad's mention on the plaque serves nothing more than being the railroad equivalent of the County Gloat Plate*.

William J. Wilgus, the man who was also the architect of Grand Central Station, and A&P Roberts are the relevant builders.

(*For the reference of others, "County Gloat Plate" refers to a "builder plate" that carries the names of County XYZ commissioners and selectmen, +/- any actual mention of the engineers or contractors who actually built the structure.

The similarity here is that the "New York Central & Hudson River Railroad" serves the same function on this plate as "County XYZ" does on those plates.)

CSX - Broadway/Colonie Street Overpass
Posted April 14, 2018, by Luke

The railroad name on that plaque seems to be more of a title than anything.

In any case, I feel we should list the actual railroad company bridge engineers as such instead of making a bunch of redundant categories for every railroad.

CSX - Broadway/Colonie Street Overpass
Posted April 14, 2018, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I think its a situation where the railroad actually engineered the structure, and then contracted with A&P Roberts to actually built the structure. Assuming this is the case, they would be both a railroad and builder/engineer.