The Top 10 Secrets of the Queensboro Bridge in NYC

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Photo via Flickr Commons/Jay Reed.

The Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge, which connects Queens to Manhattan, rarely gets the attention that it merits. Many New Yorkers drive or bike across the bridge on a daily basis and it is also a popular running spot because it provides magnificent views of the East RiverRoosevelt Island and Manhattan from high above.

Designed by engineer Gustav Lindenthal and architect Henry Hornbostel, it is the “longest of the East River Bridges, with an overall length of 7,449 feet,” according to the New York City Department of Transportation. The construction of the Queensboro Bridge began in 1901, and the bridge officially opened on June 18, 1909. To better appreciate its history and significance, here are our top ten secrets of New York City’s Queensboro Bridge.

10. There Used to be A Trolley on the Queensboro Bridge

Queensboro-Bridge-Under-Construction-Vintage Photo-NYC

The Queensboro Bridge originally had a trolley line from 1909 to 1957. This trolley had an underground station at 2nd Avenue and went to Astoria, Flushing, College Point, Corona, Steinway and Queens Boulevard, according to Joseph Brennan of Abandoned Stations.

Most importantly, the trolleys lasted until 1957 – even though the mode of transportation was being phased out. This was because of the stop at the middle of the bridge that allowed people to go to Welfare Island (now Roosevelt Island). Until 1954, this stop was the only way to get there.

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One Response
  1. How could you mention the 59th Street Bridge without mentioning the song–not even when you talk about pop culture references?? From Wikipedia:

    “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)” is a song by folk music duo Simon and Garfunkel, appearing on their 1966 album Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme. “59th Street Bridge” is the colloquial name of the Queensboro Bridge in New York City. The song’s message is immediately delivered in its opening verse: “Slow down, you move too fast”.

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