3. The Whitestone Bridge Threatened to Ruin the Rural “Character” of Queens
Although the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge was originally proposed in 1905, its construction was severely delayed due to concerns from local residents who feared that the traffic would ruin the rural “character” of Queens. At the time, developers had already started to plan and build upscale neighborhoods on Long Island in anticipation for the new bridge. Even so, residents of the existing communities were able to keep the project out of the planning phase for close to a 25 years until Robert Moses, who wanted people to visit his Long Island state parks, came into the picture.
Moses was also motivated by a number of other reasons. At the time, the Triborough Bridge had become increasingly congested with traffic and the proposed Whitestone Bridge would have helped to alleviate some of the burden. Moses also wanted to make the fairgrounds of 1939 World’s Fair more readily accessible to the public.
In 1937, the project officially received the green light from the New York State Legislature.