Triborough Bridge from Astoria Park
Triborough Bridge from Astoria Park
Interesting... almost like a rectangular flower.
I love the bridge, I just hate the $4.50 charge for cars to cross it.
The Triboro Lift Bridge (the first pic) is one of the most underestimated bridges in the city. Completley overshadowed by Triboro Suspension. Its really a really good looking, strong looking, powerful looking bridge. It manages to look powerful yet still be aesthically beautiful. Something i beleieve only the GWB has done as well.
July 11, 2006
Reappraising a Landmark Bridge, and the Visionary Behind It
By SAM ROBERTS
"It has long been a cherished ambition of mine to weave together the loose strands and frayed edges of New York's metropolitan arterial tapestry," Robert Moses once wrote. With the Triborough Bridge, which opened on this date in 1936 and is seen here during construction the year before, he achieved his ambition on an epic scale.
It was not just another bridge. And the man who built it was not just another power broker. The Triborough opened 70 years ago today, and the anniversary is prompting a reappraisal of Robert Moses, who, although he never learned to drive, rolled out a concrete carpet to the suburbs that changed the face of New York.
“He made it all fit together,” said Laura Rosen, the archivist for Metropolitan Transportation Authority Bridges and Tunnels.
“He was a visionary,” said Robert Del Bagno, exhibitions manager at the Transit Museum in Brooklyn Heights, where “The Triborough Bridge: Robert Moses and the Automobile Age” is on display through next year.
“We’re steering clear of casting judgment,” Mr. Del Bagno added. “We will tell you that the Triborough led to suburbanization. We stop short of saying it led to urban sprawl. Both are true. The city changed very radically from that point on.”
Moses regarded the public authority created to build the Triborough as his most durable political base and the bridge itself as the nexus of a highway system that would first open the region’s parks and beaches to day-trippers and then flood the suburbs and remote parts of Queens and the Bronx with commuters. With 14 miles of approach roads, it was the city’s first major span built exclusively for the automobile.
“I don’t think you can take it in a vacuum, but this is one of the good things he did,” said Robert A. Caro, whose biography of Moses, “The Power Broker,” has gone through more than 40 printings since its publication in 1974. “He tied together Long Island, Manhattan and the mainland with a single bridge. People had been talking about it for years. He got it done. It was a supreme example of building a huge public work in a democracy.”
But not even Moses could build enough bridges and highways to keep pace with the proliferation of the automobile and the congestion that ensued.
“Looking at it in the context of today,” Ms. Rosen said, “telling somebody then they would have to use mass transit instead of a car would have been like telling them they have to use a typewriter instead of a computer.”
Ground was broken the day after the stock market crashed in 1929; the city soon ran out of money. The project languished until 1933 when Moses, already the city’s parks commissioner, joined a new state authority created to finish the bridge, which became one of the biggest public works projects of the Depression. It cost more than $60 million, or nearly $1 billion in today’s dollars.
Moses succeeded by outmaneuvering critics in the Roosevelt administration, although Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia appears to have overruled the Triborough Bridge Authority’s planned purchase of a million pounds of German sheet steel piling, which the authority insisted it had decided to buy as “a matter of engineering and not of popular agitation.”
However, the mayor declared, “The only commodity we can import from Hitlerland now is hatred and we don’t want any in our country.”
President Franklin D. Roosevelt attended the opening ceremonies, which were followed by an inauspicious heralding of the automobile era. The first ordinary New Yorker to reach the tollbooths was a boy riding a bicycle from the Bronx to Queens. He did not stop to pay the 10-cent toll. The first private car waiting to cross from the Bronx had to be pushed through after it stalled (the driver, a bank clerk, apparently paid the 25-cent automobile toll).
In 1937, its first full year of operation, more than 11 million vehicles crossed the bridge. Last year, nearly 63 million did. In 70 years, there have been 3.16 billion crossings, according to estimates by Bridges and Tunnels, a successor to Moses’s old agency.
“What happened in New York happened over the next few decades in every city,” said Mr. Del Bagno, of the Transit Museum. “New York was the most densely populated and was older, so it was much more problematic.
“In 1934, he was sure the way people were going to get around in the future was by car,” he said of Moses. “So he was right in seeing the development that would happen in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. But what we saw come of it was that just making highways wasn’t going to work for all the city.”
The Triborough Bridge Authority eventually became the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority. It also became a cash cow, which the state tapped to subsidize mass transit, ending Moses’s reign in 1968.
“This ended an era of major construction projects, led by Robert Moses, which transformed the city and ushered in the automobile age,” the exhibition says.
Moses always regarded the Triborough Bridge — three bridges, actually, which link the Bronx, Manhattan and Queens — as a way of uniting the city and the metropolitan area.
“It has long been a cherished ambition of mine to weave together the loose strands and frayed edges of New York’s metropolitan arterial tapestry,” he wrote. “The Triborough Bridge Authority has provided the warp on the metropolitan loom, the heavier threads across which the lighter ones are woven.”
Robert Moses in 1938, two years after finishing the Triborough Bridge, a significant accomplishment in a long and controversial career.
Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company
November 6, 2008, 5:28 pm
To Rename Triborough for R.F.K., $4 Million
By William Neuman
Kerry Kennedy, founder of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, at a media briefing on the renaming of the Triborough Bridge at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s headquarters. (Photo: John Marshall Mantel for The New York Times)
New York State will have to spend $4 million to replace road signs changing the name of the Triborough Bridge to the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, a spokesman for the State Department of Transportation said on Thursday.
The spokesman, Adam Levine, acknowledged that the state is in a financial crisis and he said the money would not be spent right away.
He said that it will take time to survey the existing signs and design new ones, and that a contract for the news signs is not expected to be put out for bids until 2011.
“If the fiscal climate does not improve by 2011 the law does give us some flexibility so we will be able to perhaps make some adjustments to the schedule,” Mr. Levine said.
The are 139 signs that must be replaced, he said, on roadways in Manhattan, The Bronx and Queens leading up to the bridge.
In addition, a spokesman for the city’s Department of Transportation said it will spend $100,000 over the next six months to replace 12 large overhead road signs and 40 smaller signs. The reason the cost to the state is so much greater appeared to be because it must replace a larger number of the more costly overhead signs.
The Triborough Bridge has been renamed for Senator Robert F. Kennedy. (Photo: John F. Kennedy Library)
In January, with support from the Kennedy family, Gov. Eliot Spitzer proposed renaming the bridge in honor of Mr. Kennedy. A bill ordering the change was passed by the Legislature in June and it was signed into law by Gov. David A. Paterson.
Mr. Paterson and other elected officials are expected to attend a rededication ceremony for the bridge in Queens on Nov. 19.
Mr. Levine said that the state has already put up five signs around the bridge announcing the change in name. Those signs will remain covered until the ceremony. They cost $14,000, he said.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which owns the bridge, said that it had to change only nine large signs. The cost for materials, it said, would be $3,500. An authority spokesman did not give an estimate of the labor cost of making the change.
Mr. Levine said the transportation department is considering ways to make the new signs less costly. A shorter name makes for a smaller, lighter and less expensive sign, he said. That could mean that most signs will be as abbreviated as possible, with a likely version reading: “RFK Bridge.”
Already, ads have begun to appear in subway stations, on trains and on buses announcing the name change. The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights arranged for the financing for the ads, which, the authority said, cost $16,000.
The bridge, which opened in 1936, connects the Bronx, Queens and Manhattan. Mr. Kennedy was the United States attorney general when his brother John F. Kennedy was president. He was elected senator from New York in 1964. He was shot to death in Los Angeles, in June 1968, during his campaign for president.
Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company
All you have to do to see how New Yorkers feel about this decision to rename the Triborough Bridge to RFK, is to read the comments on that NY Times blog link above.
I have to say I agree with most of those people. This is just an awful decision for the state to make, especially in the terrible economic conditions we are in. Furthermore, the Triborough name is fitting and already well known by everyone. Why change it?
This state is run by morons.
Updated 12:44 PM
Triborough Bridge Becomes Robert F. Kennedy Bridge
The Triborough Bridge, which connects, Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx, was officially renamed the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge today.
A ceremony was held in Queens's Astoria Park, a day before what would have been the assassinated New York senator's 83rd birthday.
Former President Bill Clinton, Governor David Paterson, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and members of the Kennedy family attended the ceremony.
“In his book, ‘The Power Broker,’ Robert Caro noted that the Triboro is not really a bridge at all but four bridges, which link together three boroughs and two islands,” said Bloomberg. “And building it, Caro said, was a feat equal to tying together two or three cities. So I think it’s only fitting that the name on such an incredible bridge reflect both the grandeur of its scale and the significance of its purpose.”
Earl Graves, founder of Black Enterprise Magazine and a former aide to Bobby Kennedy, also attended and said the renaming is happening at an appropriate time in history, when the late senator's vision is coming true.
"I would go with him around the city or around the state and he was always reaching out to young people and he was reaching out for new ideas," said Graves. "He was reaching out for those who were less fortunate to see how he could make things better for them."
"I think if he had lived, he would have been president," continued Graves.
"I think we were well on the way to that happening. He would think it's very appropriate because he said 40 years ago that he did see an African-American one day would be president. And today that has come to fruition."
After the ceremony, dignitaries toured the bridge span in vintage cars.
The bridge was officially opened in 1936, and 10-year-old
Anthony Dominick Benedetto, who later became singer Tony Bennett, sang at the dedication.
Copyright © 2008 NY1 News. All rights reserved.
Am I the only one who is going to still call it the "Triboro"?
Definately not, I will still prefer to it as the "Triboro."
Ditto. Idiotic decision made by idiots.