Learn more about Harlem River
The Harlem River is a tidal strait in New York City, USA that flows 8 miles (13 km) between the East River and the Hudson River, separating the boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx. Part of the current course of the Harlem River is the Harlem River Ship Canal, which runs somewhat south of the former course of the river, isolating a small portion of Manhattan (Marble Hill) on the Bronx side of the river.
The Harlem River is navigable to any boat with less than 55 feet (16.8 m) of draft. However, any boat requiring more than 5 feet (1.5 m) of clearance will require the Spuyten Duyvil Bridge to swing for them. All other movable bridges on the Harlem River provide at least 24 feet (7.3 m) of clearance while closed, so boats requiring between 5 and 24 feet (1.5 and 7.3 m) of clearance need only have one bridge swing for them. In recent years, test openings of the movable bridges on the Harlem River have outnumbered openings for navigation.
To arrange for opening of the Sputyen Duyvil Bridge, mariners may contact the bridge operator on VHF channel 13. To arrange to open the Park Avenue Bridge, contact Conrail at 212-340-3000. For all of the other bridges, contact the New York City Department of Transportation at 212-371-7836 at least four hours in advance of your intended crossing. There are no fees for navigation of the river.
The New York City Department of Transportation advises that while they make every effort to ensure that all bridges are operating, that many of them are under repair at any time, and that outside contractors are responsible for opening of bridges under repair. As well, sometimes on hot summer days, many of the bridge decks seize due to thermal expansion, and cannot open or close. Since the city will not allow more than one bridge open at a time, a bridge seizing in the open position can potentially leave a mariner stranded in a small section of the river.
The Harlem River was the traditional rowing course for New York, analogous to the Charles River in Boston and the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia. On the Harlem's banks is the boathouse for the Columbia University crew, and the river is the home course for the university's heavyweight crew. (The lightweight and women's crews race at the Orchard Beach Lagoon, out of The New York Athletic Club.) The athletes maintain the "C Rock", a large Columbia varsity "C" painted on a rock face along the tracks used by Metro-North Railroad.
Also on the river is the Peter Jay Sharp Boathouse, a community rowing facility. The river is used by crews from New York University, Fordham University, and Manhattan College, though the only school with permanent facilities on the river is Columbia. In the past, Columbia rowers have assisted the New York City Police Department in murder investigations by sighting bodies in the water. Such occurrences have appeared in the television series Law & Order.
This is a list of bridges and other crossings of the Harlem River from the East River upstream to the Hudson River.
The Harlem River is traversed by two legs of the Triborough Bridge (Harlem River Lift, Bronx Kills Crossing).
Kings Bridge was one of two bridges across the old alignment at Marble Hill.