Times Change: The raised pedestrian footbridge


Times Change: The raised pedestrian footbridge


Though today’s Union Station looks remarkably similar to the 1887 original, some things have changed—namely the raised pedestrian footbridge, shown in this photograph, which was built in 1912 to aid passengers in crossing the tracks to the platform on the waterfront side. As money became tight for the New Haven Railroad in the early 1900s, station repairs and infrastructure maintenance were the first areas to lose funding. Shortly thereafter, the footbridge was in dire need of repair. Upon learning that the demolition of the footbridge would cost only around $1,250, the New Haven Railroad petitioned the Public Utilities Commission in 1953 for permission to tear it town. This request was denied, and the railroad attempted once more in 1961, when the Commission finally agreed, and the bridge was torn down. A study conducted by the railroad found that around five times more people crossed the tracks using the street level crosswalk than the pedestrian bridge, and that most people who did access the bridge were using it to gain a better view of the downtown harbor. This clipping shows a pair of newlyweds posing in front of the footbridge in 1944, before boarding a train to New York City.


June 6, 2005


Marian Hancock-Cerutti





“Times Change: The raised pedestrian footbridge,” Linda Lear Center Digital Collections and Exhibitions, accessed May 28, 2024, https://lc-digital.conncoll.edu/items/show/1539.