The Popolopen Creek Footbridge carries the Twin Forts Trail over Popolopen Creek in Fort Montgomery, New York.
During the American Revolution, a pontoon bridge was constructed across the mouth of Popolopen Creek to link Forts Montgomery and Clinton. Subsequently, an iron bridge was erected across the lower part of the Popolopen Creek gorge as part of the road from Hessian Lake to Fort Montgomery, bypassing the pontoon bridge. 1
In early 2000, Col. James M. Johnson proposed reconstructing a pontoon bridge in the same location as the previous iteration centuries prior. 3 With the support of New York Governor George Pataki, Col. Johnson requested the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering at West Point to have cadets design and test different types of bridges for implementation. In the spring of 2001, two cadets designed and constructed a section of a pontoon bridge, with members of the Fort Montgomery Plan Team in attendance for the demonstration.
Ultimately, the pontoon bridge was deemed too expensive to maintain and too seasonal. 3 In December, the New York State Bridge Authority entered into a memorandum with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation and Palisades Interstate Park Commission to build a suspension footbridge. The design and construction were contracted out to Cleveland Bridge, an engineering firm from the United Kingdom, which ultimately built a suspended rope truss bridge. 2 3 It consisted of diagonal braces to provide stiffening and a fiber composite deck instead of a traditional timber deck for lighter weight, greater durability, and reduced maintenance requirements. 2
On October 6, 2002, New York Governor George Pataki dedicated the Popolopen Creek Footbridge. 2 3 4 It carries the Twin Forts Trail between the Fort Montgomery State Historic Site and Fort Clinton at Bear Mountain State Park. The crossing was dedicated to William J. “Bill” Moreau, the Chief Engineer at the New York State Bridge Authority for 27 years, on June 27, 2014.
- State: New York
- Route: Twin Forts Trail
- Type: Wire Suspension
- Status: Active - Pedestrian
- Total Length: 336 feet
- Deck Width: 11 feet
- Navigational Clearance:
- “Open Costly Bridge; ‘Hell Hole’ No More.” Middletown Times-Press, 18 Jul. 1916, p. 2.
- Dale, Howard. “FORT MONTGOMERY – FOOTBRIDGE OVER POPOLOPEN CREEK.” Photography, Images, and Cameras, 26 May 2017.
- “Popolopen Creek Bridge.” Historic Bridges of the Hudson Valley.
- Clarke, Suzan. “Fort Montgomery opens as historic site.” Journal News, 7 Oct. 2002, pp. 1B-2B.