List of bridges and tunnels in New York City

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The Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges on the East River, 1981

New York City is home to over 2,000 bridges and tunnels. Several agencies manage this network of crossings, including the New York City Department of Transportation, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, New York State Department of Transportation and Amtrak.

Nearly all of the city's major bridges, and several of its tunnels, have broken or set records. The Holland Tunnel was the world's first vehicular tunnel when it opened in 1927. The Brooklyn Bridge, Williamsburg Bridge, George Washington Bridge, and Verrazano–Narrows Bridge were the world's longest suspension bridges when opened in 1883,[1] 1903,[2] 1931,[3] and 1964[4] respectively.

Bridges[edit]

New York's crossings date back to 1693, when its first bridge, known as the King's Bridge, was constructed over Spuyten Duyvil Creek between Manhattan and the Bronx, located in the present-day Kingsbridge neighborhood. The bridge, composed of stone abutments and a timber deck, was demolished in 1917. The oldest crossing still standing is High Bridge which connects Manhattan to the Bronx over the Harlem River.[5] This bridge was built to carry water to the city as part of the Croton Aqueduct system.

Ten bridges and one tunnel serving the city have been awarded some level of landmark status. The Holland Tunnel was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1993 in recognition of its pioneering role as the first mechanically ventilated vehicular underwater tunnel, operating since 1927. The George Washington, High Bridge, Hell Gate, Queensboro, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Macombs Dam, Carroll Street, University Heights and Washington bridges have all received landmark status as well.[5]

New York features bridges of all lengths and types, carrying everything from cars, trucks and subway trains to pedestrians and bicycles. The George Washington Bridge, spanning the Hudson River between New York City and Fort Lee, New Jersey, is the world's busiest bridge in terms of vehicular traffic.[6][7] The George Washington Bridge, Verrazano Narrows Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge are considered among the most beautiful in the world. Others are more well known for their functional importance such as the Williamsburg Bridge which has two heavy rail transit tracks, eight traffic lanes and a pedestrian sidewalk.

Bridges by water body[edit]

East River[edit]

J train on the Williamsburg Bridge

From south to north:

Name Opening year Length Comments
Brooklyn Bridge 1883 1,825 metres (5,988 ft) Oldest suspension bridge. Also oldest suspension/cable-stayed hybrid bridge.
Manhattan Bridge 1909 2,089 metres (6,854 ft) (B D N Q trains)
Williamsburg Bridge 1903 2,227.48 metres (7,308.0 ft) (J M Z trains)
Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge 1909 1,135 metres (3,724 ft) NY-25
Also known as 59th Street Bridge
Roosevelt Island Bridge 1955 876.91 metres (2,877.0 ft) East channel only
Robert F. Kennedy Bridge (Suspension Bridge) 1936 850 metres (2,790 ft) I-278
Formerly known as the Triborough Bridge
Hell Gate Bridge 1916 5,181.6 metres (17,000 ft) Rail only (Northeast Corridor/New York Connecting Railroad)
Rikers Island Bridge 1966 1,280.16 metres (4,200.0 ft) Only connects Rikers Island to Queens
Bronx–Whitestone Bridge 1939 1,149.10 metres (3,770.0 ft) I-678
Throgs Neck Bridge 1961 886.97 metres (2,910.0 ft) I-295

Harlem River[edit]

Wards Island Bridge in "open" position

From south to north, east to west:

Name Opening year Length Comments
Wards Island Bridge 1951 285.6 metres (937 ft) Pedestrians and bicycles only
Robert F. Kennedy Bridge (Vertical-Lift Bridge) 1936 230 metres (750 ft) Formerly known as the Triborough Bridge
Willis Avenue Bridge 1901 979 metres (3,212 ft) Northbound traffic only
Third Avenue Bridge 1898 853.44 metres (2,800.0 ft) Southbound traffic only
Park Avenue Bridge 1954 100 metres (330 ft) Metro-North only
Madison Avenue Bridge 1910 577 metres (1,893 ft)
145th Street Bridge 1905 489 metres (1,604 ft)
Macombs Dam Bridge 1895 774 metres (2,539 ft)
High Bridge 1848 600 metres (2,000 ft) Oldest surviving bridge in New York City; Currently closed for repairs.
Alexander Hamilton Bridge 1963 724 metres (2,375 ft) I-95 US-1
Washington Bridge 1888 723.9 metres (2,375 ft)
University Heights Bridge 1908 82 metres (269 ft)
Broadway Bridge 1962 170.08 metres (558.0 ft) Also known as Harlem Ship Canal Bridge
(1 train)
Henry Hudson Bridge 1936 673 metres (2,208 ft) Henry Hudson Parkway
Spuyten Duyvil Bridge 1899 186 metres (610 ft) Rail only

Hudson River[edit]

George Washington Bridge, spanning the Hudson River between New York City and New Jersey. Historic American Engineering Record photo
Verrazano-Narrows Bridge
Name Opening year Length Comments
George Washington Bridge 1931 1,450.85 metres (4,760.0 ft) I-95, US-1, US-9 US-46
Handles 280,718 vehicles per day (2010)[8]

New York Bay[edit]

Name Opening year Length Comments
Verrazano-Narrows Bridge 1964 2,039.1 metres (6,690 ft) I-278

Newtown Creek[edit]

Borden Avenue, Long Island City
Name Opening year Length Comments
Kosciuszko Bridge 1939 1,835 metres (6,020 ft) I-278
Pulaski Bridge 1954 860 metres (2,820 ft) McGuinness Boulevard
J. J. Byrne Memorial Bridge 1987[9] 55 metres (180 ft) a.k.a. Greenpoint Avenue Bridge; Greenpoint Avenue
Grand Street Bridge 1903[9] 69.2 metres (227 ft) Grand Avenue
Metropolitan Avenue Bridge 1933[9] 33.8 metres (111 ft) Grand Street and Metropolitan Avenue; crosses English Kills, a tributary of Newtown Creek[9]

Other[edit]

The Bronx[edit]

Name Opening year Length Comments
Bronx Kill
Robert F. Kennedy Bridge (Truss bridge) 1936 490 metres (1,610 ft) I-278
Formerly known as the Triborough Bridge
Hutchinson River (heading downriver)
Eastchester Bridge US-1
Pelham Bridge 1908 272 metres (892 ft) Shore Road
Hutchinson River Parkway Bridge 1941 205 metres (673 ft) Hutchinson River Parkway
Westchester Creek
Unionport Bridge 1953 160.3 metres (526 ft) Bruckner Boulevard
Bronx River
Eastern Boulevard Bridge 1953 193.2 metres (634 ft) I-278
Pelham Bay
City Island Bridge 1901 290 metres (950 ft) City Island Avenue

Brooklyn[edit]

Ninth Street Bridge, spanning Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn.
Name Opening year Length Comments
Gowanus Canal
Union Street Bridge 1905[10] Union Street
Carroll Street Bridge 1889[10] Carroll Street; New York City Designated Landmark and one of four retractable bridges in the country[11]
Third Street Bridge 1905[10] Third Street
Ninth Street Bridge 1999[10] Ninth Street
Culver Viaduct 1938[12] IND Culver Line (F G trains)
Hamilton Avenue Bridge 1942[10] I-278 service road
Gowanus Expressway 1941[13] I-278
Mill Basin
Mill Basin Bridge Belt Parkway
Rockaway Inlet (Brooklyn and Queens)
Marine Parkway–Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge 1937 1226 m Flatbush Avenue

Queens[edit]

Name Opening year Length Comments
Dutch Kills
Borden Avenue Bridge 1908[9] Borden Avenue; one of four retractable bridges in the country[11]
Hunters Point Avenue Bridge 1910[9] Hunters Point Avenue
Jamaica Bay
Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge 1970 Cross Bay Boulevard
The Joseph P. Addabbo Memorial Bridge Cross Bay Boulevard
North Channel Swing Bridge (A train)
Not actually a movable bridge.
Howard Beach to Broad Channel.
Beach Channel Drawbridge (A S trains)
Broad Channel to The Rockaways
102nd Street Bridge Connecting Hamilton Beach at Russell Street with Howard Beach, also known as "Lenihan's Bridge".
Hawtree Creek Bridge 163rd Avenue and 99th Street in Howard Beach across to Hamilton Beach at Rau Court and Davenport Court
Rockaway Inlet (Brooklyn and Queens)
Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge 1937 1226 m

Staten Island[edit]

Name Opening year Length Comments
Arthur Kill
Goethals Bridge 1928 2164.08 m I-278
Arthur Kill Vertical Lift Bridge 1959 170.08 m CSX and M&E rail lines
Outerbridge Crossing 1928 3093 m NJ 440/NY 440
Kill Van Kull
Bayonne Bridge 1931 1761.74 m NY 440/NJ 440

Tunnels[edit]

Each of the tunnels that run underneath the East and Hudson Rivers were marvels of engineering when first constructed. The Holland Tunnel is the oldest of the vehicular tunnels, opening to great fanfare in 1927 as the first mechanically ventilated underwater tunnel. The Queens Midtown Tunnel was opened in 1940 to relieve the congestion on the city's bridges. Each of its tubes were designed 1½ feet wider than the Holland Tunnel in order to accommodate the wider cars of the period. When the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel opened in 1950 as the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, it was the longest continuous underwater vehicular tunnel in the world, a title which it still holds. The Lincoln Tunnel has three tubes linking midtown Manhattan to New Jersey, a configuration which provides the flexibility to provide four lanes in one direction during rush-hour or three lanes in each direction.

All four underwater road tunnels were built by Ole Singstad: the Holland Tunnel's original chief engineer Clifford Milburn Holland died, as did his successor, Milton H. Freeman, after which Singstad became chief engineer, finishing the Holland Tunnel and then building the remaining tunnels.

East River[edit]

PATH train emerging from the Hudson tubes, into the Exchange Place station
Traveling through the Holland Tunnel, from Manhattan to Jersey City, New Jersey.

From south to north:

Name Opening year Length Comments
Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel 1950 2,779 m (9,117 ft) I-478
Joralemon Street Tunnel 1908 2,709 m (8,888 ft) IRT Lexington Avenue Line (4 5 trains)
Montague Street Tunnel 1920 2,136 m (7,009 ft) BMT Broadway Line (N R trains)
Clark Street Tunnel 1919 1,800 m (5,900 ft) IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line (2 3 trains)
Cranberry Street Tunnel 1933 IND Eighth Avenue Line (A C trains)
Rutgers Street Tunnel 1936 IND Sixth Avenue Line (F train)
14th Street Tunnel 1924 BMT Canarsie Line (L train)
East River Tunnels 1910 1,204 m (3,949 ft) part of the New York Tunnel Extension
Amtrak and Long Island Rail Road (Northeast Corridor)
Queens–Midtown Tunnel 1940 1,955 m (6,414 ft) I-495
Steinway Tunnel 1915 IRT Flushing Line (7 <7> trains)
53rd Street Tunnel 1933 IND Queens Boulevard Line (E M trains)
60th Street Tunnel 1920 BMT Broadway Line (N Q R trains)
63rd Street Tunnel 1989 960 m (3,140 ft) upper level: IND 63rd Street Line (F train)
lower level: future LIRR to Grand Central Terminal

Harlem River[edit]

From south to north:

Name Opening year Length Comments
Lexington Avenue Tunnel 1918 391 m (1,283 ft) IRT Lexington Avenue Line (4 5 6 <6> trains)
149th Street Tunnel 1905 195 m (641 ft) IRT White Plains Road Line (2 train)
Concourse Tunnel 1933 IND Concourse Line (B D trains)

Hudson River[edit]

From south to north:

Name Opening year Length Comments
Downtown Hudson Tubes 1909 1,720 m (5,650 ft) Montgomery-Cortlandt Tunnels
Port Authority Trans-Hudson
Holland Tunnel 1955 south tube: 2,551 m (8,371 ft)
north tube: 2,608 m (8,558 ft)
I-78
Uptown Hudson Tubes 1908 1,700 m (5,500 ft) Hoboken-Morton Tunnels
Port Authority Trans-Hudson
North River Tunnels 1910 1,900 m (6,100 ft) part of New York Tunnel Extension
Amtrak and New Jersey Transit (Northeast Corridor)
Lincoln Tunnel south tube: 1957
center tube: 1937
north tube: 1945
south tube: 2,440 m (8,006 ft)
center tube: 2,504 m (8,216 ft)
north tube: 2,281 m (7,482 ft)
NJ 495/I-495

Newtown Creek[edit]

Name Opening year Comments
Greenpoint Tube 1933 IND Crosstown Line (G train)

Other bridges and tunnels[edit]

Bridges and tunnels by use[edit]

The relative average number of inbound vehicles between 5 a.m. and 11 a.m. to Midtown and Lower Manhattan is:

  1. Queensboro Bridge: 31,000
  2. Lincoln Tunnel: 25,944
  3. Brooklyn Bridge: 22,241
  4. Williamsburg Bridge: 18,339
  5. Queens-Midtown Tunnel: 17,968
  6. Holland Tunnel: 16,257
  7. Brooklyn Battery Tunnel: 14,496
  8. Manhattan Bridge: 13,818

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "NYC DOT - Brooklyn Bridge". Retrieved 2012-02-24. 
  2. ^ "NYC DOT - Williamsburg Bridge". Retrieved 2012-02-24. 
  3. ^ "History - George Washington Bridge - The Port Authority of NY & NJ". Retrieved 2012-02-24. 
  4. ^ "Verrazano-Narrows Bridge". Retrieved 2012-02-24. 
  5. ^ a b "NYC DOT - Frequently Asked Questions about Bridges". Retrieved 2012-02-24. 
  6. ^ "Port Authority of New York and New Jersey - George Washington Bridge". The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. Retrieved September 13, 2013. 
  7. ^ Bod Woodruff, Lana Zak, and Stephanie Wash (November 20, 2012). "GW Bridge Painters: Dangerous Job on Top of the World's Busiest Bridge". ABC News. Retrieved September 13, 2013. 
  8. ^ "2008 NYSDOT Traffic Data Report". New York State Department of Transportation. Appendix C. Retrieved 2010-02-27. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f "Movable Bridges over Newtown Creek and its Tributaries". New York City. Retrieved 20 September 2013. 
  10. ^ a b c d e New York City Dept. of Transportation. "Bridges over the Gowanus Canal". New York City. Retrieved 20 September 2013. 
  11. ^ a b Berger, Joseph (May 13, 2013). "Antique Bridge Closed to Traffic While It’s Open for Repairs". New York Times. Retrieved 20 September 2013. 
  12. ^ McGill, John. "Underline: The Culver Viaduct". Urban Omnibus. Retrieved 20 September 2013. 
  13. ^ [1]

External links[edit]