1961: A Low-Key Opening for a Bridge in New York City

January 11, 1961

In New York City, a comparatively low-key dedication was held for a suspension bridge that crosses the East River and serves as a link between the neighborhoods of Throggs Neck in the Bronx and Bay Terrace in Queens. “The Throgs Neck Bridge was opened yesterday with no speeches, little fanfare and not much business,” reported the next day’s edition of the New York Times. “Toll traffic began moving over the six-lane span just before noon.” (According to a few sources over the years, one of the two g’s in “Throggs” was dropped from the name of this bridge in order to make that name even easier for everybody to spell.)

The public officials on hand for the opening of the bridge were Robert F. Wagner Jr., mayor of New York City; Malcolm Wilson, lieutenant governor (and future governor) of the Empire State; Abe Stark, president of the City Council; and John T. “Pat” Clancy, borough president of Queens. As part of that day’s dedication ceremony, they were each given scissors with square brass handles and engraved blades. The New York Times noted, “With these the four men slashed a long ribbon to souvenir patches.”

Construction on the Throgs Neck Bridge began on October 22, 1957. This bridge was designed by renowned Swiss-American civil engineer Othmar Ammann. Other bridges in the New York metropolitan area that he designed are the George Washington Bridge, Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, and Bayonne Bridge. Ammann also oversaw the planning and construction of the Lincoln Tunnel, which connects Midtown Manhattan with the township of Weehawken, New Jersey.

The Throgs Neck Bridge carries Interstate 295 over the East River. This bridge remains the newest one to be built across that river. The Throgs Neck Bridge has the added distinction of being the easternmost crossing of the East River. This bridge is among those operated by the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, an affiliate agency of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Photo Credit: Public Domain

For more information on the Throgs Neck Bridge, please check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Throgs_Neck_Bridge

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