The Top 10 Secrets of the Triborough Bridge in NYC

Thousands of commuters speed over the Triborough Bridge (officially the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge) every day. Yet, despite its renown, it holds many secrets.

triborough-bridge-robert-moses-secrets-nyc-untapped-cities-susanxu12Aerial view of Randalls and Wards Islands. Image via Wikimedia Commons by Roy Googin

Robert Caro, author of The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York, once referred to the Triborough Bridge (known officially as the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge) as “a traffic machine.” This nickname could not be more suited to the superstructure. Regarded as one of the most significant achievements of the Public Works Administration, R.F.K. Bridge is comprised of a complex of three bridges that connect the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens. Thousands of commuters speed over its roadways every day. Yet, despite its renown, it still holds many secrets.

10. A Sign Once Advised Travelers to Drive off the Bridge

According to New York Times columnist, William Safire, the R.F.K. Bridge once held a sign, which advised travelers to drive off the bridge in the event of an attack. Since its roadway is located roughly 15 stories above the river, the drop would have certainly resulted in death. In the column, Safire also mentions the wry type of signage that used to pepper New York City streets, like “Don’t even think of parking here” and “No Parking/No Standing/No Stopping/No Kidding.” Things have become much more serious since then.

View all on one page

4 Responses
  1. Is that seriously someone walking across the highway leading up to the bridge in Picture #10? The dude is just sauntering across the road (see him just past the light pole with the “20 MPH” sign on it).

  2. Kiwiwriter Reply

    My great-uncle Sam Lippman, a mobster of some importance in the 1920s, was a bagman for Arnold Rothstein. After helping fix the 1919 World Series, he continued to be a bagman, but started skimming the take for unknown reasons…whether to cover his own gambling debts, pay for drugs, pay for girlfriends, we don’t know.

    What we do know is that Arnold found out he was being robbed, and Sam disappeared. Apparently he is forever a cornerstone in the infrastructure of New York City…he was buried in one of the foundations of the Triborough Bridge.

    • michelle young Reply

      That’s an *insane* story!!! Would you be interested in writing a story about it for Untapped?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *