3. High Bridge Was Almost Demolished in the 1920s

A plaque dedicated to the High Bridge

When High Bridge was used for water delivery from upstate to New York City, 90 million gallons of water were being transported from the Croton Reservoir to New York City. To improve navigability across the Harlem River and because the masonry was considered hazardous to ships by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the five original stone arches were replaced by a single steel arch.

At this time, there was a possibility that the bridge would be torn down entirely, as Manhattan now had access to other supplies of water including water from the Catskill region, which was funded by the Board of Water Supply in the early 1900s. Ultimately, the bridge was preserved and continued to be used for water delivery.