Looking Good! Throgs Neck Bridge Turns 50
The Throgs Neck Bridge, built as a key link in the interstate highway system, is turning 50 years old on Jan. 11th. The graceful suspension bridge, which connects the Bronx to Queens and Long Island, was the first major bridge of the postwar era.
Plans to build a new bridge to try and relieve traffic on its sister Bronx-Whitestone Bridge, two miles to the west, had been in the making for some 15 years and culminated on a cold but dry January day in 1961 when city officials including Robert Moses, chairman of the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, New York City Mayor Robert F. Wagner, Bronx Borough President James J. Lyons and Queens Borough President John T. Clancy of Queens, gathered at the Bronx toll plaza to cut the ceremonial ribbon.
Moses had pushed to have the bridge open before the opening of the 1964 World's Fair, of which he was also the president. About 20 minutes after the ribbon cutting, the dignitaries sped across the new Throgs Neck Bridge for the second ceremony of the day – the dedication of the first World's Fair structure at Flushing Meadow Park.
The bridge consists of a center span that is 1,800 feet long and two side spans of 555 feet each, as well as a 4,100 foot roadway that connects the Cross Island Parkway and Clearview Expressway to Queens and Long Island and a 6,400-foot roadway which passes over the Throgs Neck peninsula and Long Island Sound, connecting to the Cross-Bronx and Throgs Neck Expressways in the Bronx. The bridge towers are 360-feet above mean high water.
Just in time for its half-century celebration, the Throgs Neck recently underwent a nearly $100 million upgrade that included replacing more than 140,000 feet of roadway deck and a major paint job that removed - under total environmental containment - all lead paint on the steel superstructure. The work, which is being done by Holmdel, N.J.-based contractor E.E. Cruz, is expected to be completed shortly, within budget and four months ahead of schedule.
"We're proud to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Throgs Neck, which plays an integral role daily in keeping traffic moving through this vital transportation corridor linking New York City with Long Island and New York's northern counties" said MTA Bridges and Tunnels President Jim Ferrara.