The Triborough Bridge, renamed the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge in 2008, and sometimes referred to as the RFK Triborough Bridge, is a complex of three separate bridges in New York City, United States, carrying Interstate 278 and New York State Route 900G. Spanning the Harlem River, the Bronx Kill, and the Hell Gate (a strait of the East River), the bridges connect the boroughs of Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx via Randalls and Wards Islands, which are joined by landfill.
The bridge is owned and operated by the MTA Bridges and Tunnels, part of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
2.1 Public transportation,
3 The three sections of the bridge
3.1 East River suspension bridge (I-278),
3.2 Harlem River lift bridge (NY 900G),
3.3 Bronx Kill crossing (I-278),
4 See also,
6 External links,
Plans for connecting Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx were first announced by Edward A. Byrne, chief engineer of the New York City Department of Plant and Structures, in 1916. While such a bridge complex's construction had long been recommended by local officials, the project failed receive funding until 1925, when the city appropriated money for surveys, test borings and structural plans.
Construction began on Black Friday in 1929, but soon the Triborough project's outlook began to look bleak. Othmar Ammann, who had collapsed the original design's two-deck roadway into one, requiring lighter towers, and thus, lighter piers, saving $10 million on the towers alone, was enlisted again to help guide the project. Using New Deal money, it was resurrected in the early 1930s by Robert Moses, who created the Triborough Bridge Authority to fund, build and operate it. The completed structure was opened to traffic on July 11, 1936.
The total cost of the bridge was more than $60 million, one of the largest public works projects of the Great Depression, more expensive even than the Hoover Dam. The structure used concrete from factories from Maine to Mississippi. To make the formwork for pouring the concrete, a whole forest on the Pacific Coast was cut down.
The American Society of Civil Engineers designated the Triborough Bridge Project as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1986. Motorists were first able to pay with E-ZPass in lanes for automatic coin machines at the Randalls Island toll plazas on August 21, 1996.
At some point in the past, a sign on the bridge informed travelers, "In event of attack, drive off bridge", New York Times columnist William Safire wrote in 2008. The "somewhat macabre sign", he wrote, must have "drawn a wry smile from millions of motorists."
On November 19, 2008, the Triborough Bridge was officially renamed after Robert F. Kennedy at the request of the Kennedy family. Forty years had passed since the New York United States Senator and former U.S. Attorney General had been assassinated during a 1968 presidential bid.
On May 5, 2010, the NYPD closed the bridge and sent in the bomb squad to investigate a U-haul truck from which a man had reportedly fled. This investigation came days after a failed attempt at a car bombing in Times Square. A short time later, the NYPD deemed this incident nonthreatening and reopened the bridge.
Many traffic and news reports commonly refer to the bridge as the "RFK Triborough Bridge" to avoid confusion among residents long accustomed to its original name.
The toll revenues from the Triborough Bridge pay for a portion of the public transit subsidy for the New York City Transit Authority and the commuter railroads. The bridge carries approximately 200,000 vehicles per day.
The bridge has sidewalks in all three legs where the TBTA officially requires bicyclists to walk their bicycles across due to safety concerns. However, the signs stating this requirement have been usually ignored by bicyclists, while the New York City Government has recommended that the TBTA should reassess this kind of bicycling ban. Stairs on the 2 km (1.2 mi) Queens leg impede handicapped access. The Queens stairway along the southern side was demolished at the beginning of the 21st century, thus isolating that walkway, but the ramp of the Wards Island end of the walkway along the northern side was improved in 2007. The two sidewalks of the Bronx span are connected to only one ramp at the Randalls Island end.
The Triborough Bridge carries the M35, M60 and X80 bus routes operated by MTA New York City Transit, and nine express bus routes operated by the MTA Bus Company, the BxM1, BxM2, BxM6, BxM7, BxM8, BxM9, BxM10, BxM11, BxM18, and X81.
The three sections of the bridge:
East River suspension bridge (I-278):
Span crosses the East River at the Hell Gate between Queens and Wards Island,
Connects to Grand Central Parkway and Brooklyn-Queens Expressway,
Length of main span: 1,380 feet (421 m),
Length of each side span: 700 feet (213 m),
Length, anchorage to anchorage: 2,780 feet (847 m),
Width of bridge: 98 feet (30 m),
Number of traffic lanes: 8 lanes,
Height of towers above mean high water: 315 feet (96 m),
Clearance at center above mean high water: 143 feet (44 m),
Number of sidewalks: 1,
Harlem River lift bridge (NY 900G):
Span crosses the Harlem River between Manhattan and Randalls Islands,
Connects to Harlem River Drive, FDR Drive, and 125th Street,
Length of main lift-truss span: 310 feet (94 m),
Length of each side truss span: 230 feet (70 m),
Length, anchorage to anchorage: 770 feet (235 m),
Height of towers: 210 feet (64 m),
Clearance of lift span above mean high water: 55 feet (17 m),
Clearance of lift span in raised position: 135 feet (41 m),
Number of traffic lanes: 6 lanes,
Number of sidewalks: 2 (1 on each side),
Bronx Kill crossing (I-278):
Span crosses the Bronx Kill between The Bronx and Randalls Island,
Connects to Major Deegan Expressway and Bruckner Expressway,
Length of main truss span: 383 feet (117 m),
Length of approach truss span: 1,217 feet (371 m),
Length, anchorage to anchorage: 1,600 feet (488 m),
Clearance of truss span above mean high water: 55 feet (17 m),
Number of traffic lanes: 8 lanes,
Number of sidewalks: 2 (1 on each side)