Rikers Island Bridge (officially named Francis R. Buono Memorial Bridge) connects Rikers Island to the borough of Queens in New York City. The bridge begins in the Steinway neighborhood of Queens near the intersection of Hazen Street and 19th Avenue and continues to the south side of Rikers Island (which is officially part of the Bronx).
The Rikers Island Bridge is the sole route to the island for vehicular traffic. Before the bridge opened in 1966, access to Rikers Island was by ferry only. The bridge is a fixed low-level span built with concrete and steel. At its center, the bridge has a 52 foot rise allowing clearance for vessels passing beneath the structure.
The bridge crosses the Rikers Island Channel of the East River and Bowery Bay. It is located near LaGuardia Airport and crosses over the approach light pier to Runway 13.
On May 25, 1978, the bridge was named for the late Supervising Warden Francis R. Buono, who directed its construction. In August 1990, during a labor conflict with then New York City mayor David Dinkins, guards responded to a breakdown in negotiations by barricading access to the bridge.
The Q100 bus route operates across the Rikers Island Bridge and provides service to the Rikers Island Visitor Center. This bridge has been referenced in the song "Bridge of Pain" by Flavor Flav.
- ^ "New York City Bridge Traffic Volumes 2008" (PDF). New York City Department of Transportation. March 2010. p. 153. Retrieved 2010-06-27.
- ^ "Rikers Island Bridge Opened". Correction Sidelights (New York City Department of Correction). Spring 1967. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
- ^ NOAA (June 1, 2008). Chart 12339 (Map). 1 : 10,000. http://www.charts.noaa.gov/OnLineViewer/12339.shtml. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
- ^ "Francis R. Buono Memorial Bridge Dedicated". The Pen (New York City Department of Correction). June 1978. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
- ^ Levine, Richard (August 16, 1990). "Critics Say Dinkins Miscalculated Guards' Anger". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
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