To celebrate the 90th anniversary of MTA Bridges and Tunnels, the Metropolitan Transit Authority has released a series of vintage photographs from its historical archives that show some NYC bridges and tunnels under construction from the 1930s to the 1960s. The MTA Bridges and Tunnels agency operates and maintains seven bridges and two tunnels linking the five boroughs. Originally founded as the Triborough Bridge Authority (TBA), it dates back to 1933.

Triborough Bridge under construction
Queens Tower of the Triborough Bridge Under Construction Circa 1934, Wards Island tower is visible in the background,
Courtesy of MTA Bridges and Tunnels Special Archives

The TBA was created by New York State to complete the construction of the Triborough Bridge (later renamed the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge in 2008) and Robert Moses was appointed its director. The Triborough is actually a complex of three bridges that connect the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens. Over 11 million crossings of the Triborough Bridge were counted during the agency’s first year of full operation, 1937. Moses ran the agency from offices in The Administration Building next to the Triborough Bridge on Randall’s Island. Completed in 1937, it’s now known as the Robert Moses Building.

Today, MTA Bridges and Tunnels is the largest bridge and tunnel toll agency in the United States. In 2022, 327 million crossings were recorded, earning $1.2 billion dollars in revenue. Check out more vintage photos in the slides that follow!

The Throgs Neck Bridge

  • Throgs Neck Bridge under construction
  • Throgs Neck Bridge under construction

NYC bridges and tunnels under the purvey of the MTA include The Robert R. Kennedy Bridge, Bronx-Whitestone Bridge, Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge, Henry Hudson Bridge, Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Bridge, Throgs Neck Bridge, Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, Hugh L Carey Tunnel (formerly known as the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel) and the Queens Midtown Tunnel.

In the photos above, you can see the Throgs Neck Bridge coming together. Both images date to 1960. In the second image, you can see workers compressing the suspension cables. The bridge opened the following year, connecting Queen and the Bronx.