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kidsnp Apr 11th, 2006 06:47 PM

Bridge Phobia: Need help PA- NY-MA
I will be driving my teen to look at colleges this weekend; we will be going from Philly area to Bard (Hudson valley), then onto MA to Worcester then Norton (wheaton), and maybe Conn college then back home. BIG problem: I am terrified to drive over bridges and teen is not yet driving (well enough to share ANY of the drive)

ANY help you can give me with the LEAST "scary" bridge between pa/nj (probably would be using the pa turnpike but could do it anyway); then nj into NY; then across MA; from MA down into CT along RT 95 (CT river), back into NY-nj-pa.
THANKS so much in advance!!!

joethekay Apr 11th, 2006 07:14 PM

What do you mean by "scary". Traffic? Height?
Bard Colege is near Rhinecliff on the East side of the Hudson river so you will have to cross it somewhere. The college site suggests using the Kingston-Rhinecliff bridge which is a rather imposing structure. So if is the bridge height that frightens you then you will have to continue on up to Albany and cross the Hudson on one of the local bridges there. Let me know what the problem is and I'll try to route you accordingly.

rkkwan Apr 11th, 2006 07:16 PM

What exactly are you afraid of?

Because many of the bridges that the normal route will take are HUGE bridges like the George Washington from NJ to NY. All you see is traffic - lots of it - and many lanes. You can't see water from them, and if you stay to a lane in the middle of the bridge, you'll be dozens of feet from the edge.

Anyways, if you must want to avoid the long and tall bridges, here's the route you will take:

Out of Philly, since you can't Benjamin Frankin across the Delaware River, you can stay on I-95 north. Switch to US1 and cross the relatively small bridge across Delaware River into Trenton, NJ. Take the very first exit and go down to NJ29. NJ29 becomes I-195 and will bring you back to the New Jersey Turnpike (NJTP) towards NYC.

Note that I-95 doesn't connect to the PATP. If you don't mind crossing the PATP bridge across the Delaware River, and want to avoid Trenton, then you can take I-95 out of Philly. Then switch to PA63, then US1, and then you can get on to the PATP.

Now, approaching NYC, the NJTP becomes a long series of bridges over the Meadowlands. I don't know if that's a problem for you. And then you have to cross the Hudson River somehow. To avoid bridges, you can take the Holland Tunnel or the Lincoln Tunnel into NYC, and then fight traffic to get back north towards CT. On the east side of Manhattan, the regular route is to take the Triboro Bridge into Bronx. It's a large Y-shaped structure that connects Bronx, Manhattan and Queens over the East River. If you can't take that, then head up Manhattan on the West Side Highway (NY 9A) instead.

In Connecticut, you need to cross the Connecticut River somehow. Basically no way around it. Also, between NYC and New Haven, take the Merritt Parkway instead of I-95, as there are bridges on I-95 across mouths of smaller rivers at Norwalk, Bridgeport, etc.

Michael Apr 11th, 2006 07:38 PM

If you are willing to put up with New York City traffic, you could take the Lincoln Tunnel, go up the West Side Highway which eventually will become the Saw Mill River Parkway which will join the Taconic to get to Bard College. But the lanes on the bridges are much wider than the lanes in the tunnel.

The Tappan Zee bridge on the N.Y. Thruway is for the most part a causeway, which might be more acceptable because it is fairly close to the water.

kidsnp Apr 11th, 2006 07:38 PM

thanks all. It is the height that gets me. i'm fine with traffic but bridges, especially huge suspension ones or ones where you go "up and then down like a roller coaster" are the worse for me. Oh the traumas from childhood!! i really do appreciate this help-this is a BIG deal for me! THANKS!!

joethekay Apr 11th, 2006 07:59 PM

You could consider this route:
Take 476 (Northeat PA Turnpike) to Scranton Take 81 to 84 East to ny Thruway (87 North ) to Kingston and follow college directions from there. This will be the only scary bridge on the route.
Once you leave Bard follow directions to the Taconic Parkway and take that North to the Mass Pike (I-90) Follow that East to Rt 495 East and follow that to Norton, MA. Going home you can retrace your steps to the Mass pike and then take Rt 84 (cross the Hudson River at Newburgh) and 84 all the way back to Scranton and then home on 476 Have a nice trip.

CAPH52 Apr 11th, 2006 08:13 PM

I feel your pain, kidsnp. I don't like driving over bridges either. FWIW, on multi-lane bridges, I find it easier if I stay in the inner lane.

kidsnp Apr 12th, 2006 07:29 AM

My dh thinks the GW bridge on the lower level isn't "too bad". Any fellow phobics with thoughts?

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