dimanche, mai 4

Queens : Queensboro Bridge

Queens : Queensboro Bridge

Serious proposals for a bridge linking Manhattan to Long Island City were first made as early as 1838 and attempts to finance such a bridge were made by a private company beginning in 1867. Its efforts never came to fruition and the company went bankrupt in the 1890s. Successful plans finally came about in 1903 under the city's new Department of Bridges, led by Gustav Lindenthal in collaboration with Leffert L. Buck and Henry Hornbostel, designers of the Williamsburg Bridge. Construction soon began but it would take until 1909 for the bridge to be completed due to delays from the collapse of an incomplete span during a windstorm and from labor unrest (including an attempt to dynamite one span). The bridge opened to the public on March 30, 1909, having cost about $18 million and 50 lives. It was then known as the Blackwell's Island Bridge, from an earlier name for Roosevelt Island. Between 1930 and 1955, there was a vehicular elevator to transport cars and passengers to and from Welfare Island, now known as Roosevelt Island. This was demolished in 1970.

The lengths of its five spans and approaches are:

* Manhattan to Roosevelt Island span length: 1,182 ft (360 m)
* Roosevelt Island span length: 630 ft (192 m)
* Roosevelt Island to Queens span length: 984 ft (300 m)
* side span lengths: 469 and 459 ft (143 and 140 m)
* total length between anchorages: 3724 ft (1135 m)
* total length including approaches: 7449 ft (2270 m)

The bridge has two levels. Originally the top level contained two pedestrian walks and two elevated railway tracks (as a spur from the IRT Second Avenue Elevated Line) and the lower deck four motor traffic lanes, and what is now the "outer roadway" and pedestrian walk were two trolley lanes. There was a trolley stop in the middle of the bridge for access to Roosevelt Island. Passengers using the mid-bridge station would transfer to a structure built alongside the bridge containing elevators down to street level. The railway would be removed in the late 1930s and early 1940s as well as the 2nd Avenue Elevated Line. The trolley lanes and mid-bridge station were removed in the 1950s, and for the next few decades the bridge carried 11 lanes of automobile traffic.

No tolls are charged for motor vehicles to use the bridge.

The bridge was known as the 59th Street Bridge before WWII.
(c) Wikipedia

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