The Town of Green Island is also the smallest town in New York State. Green Island was incorporated officially as a village in 1853 and was formed in 1896 as part of the division of the Town of Watervliet
In 1923, The Ford Motor Company opened a plant in Green Island to produce radiators and springs. The plant served as Green Island’s largest employer until it was closed in 1988. Although the factory was demolished in 2004 the dam that was apart of the company still remains active and continues to produce electricity to this day.
One of the main landmarks in Green Island as well as one of the main access points is the Green Island Bridge. The Green Island Bridge crosses the Hudson River, connecting Green Island, New York with Troy The original Rensselaer and Saratoga Railroad bridge was a wood-truss covered bridge built in 1832. On May 10, 1862 it caught fire from the sparks of a passing locomotive and soon fell into the river. Parts of the burning structure, floating with the current, imperiled the steamboats and the smaller craft tied up along the wharves. The devastating wind-driven fire also consumed more than 500 buildings covering 75 acres of downtown Troy. This bridge was replaced by a second wooden bridge.
In 1884 a steel railroad bridge replaced the second wooden bridge. When rail service ended in Troy on July 27, 1963, it was converted for automobile traffic. Until then the northern span was a rail bridge, and the southern span was a toll bridge for cars, trolleys, and pedestrians. It had a lift span added in 1924-25 for river shipping. This bridge failed on March 15, 1977 due to flooding caused by 2.7 inches of heavy weekend rains, coupled with melting snows and heavy runoff. The flood-induced scour undermined the lift span pier, causing the western lift tower and roadbed span of the bridge to collapse into the Hudson River.
The current Green Island Bridgewas opened four-and-a-half years later on September 12, 1981. Construction. The bridge is a vertical lift bridge which is raised only occasionally for river traffic such as boats. The lift bridge joins Troy and Center Island (once known as Starbuck Island), an island in the river.