The New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) announced the official opening of a temporary bridge to City Island today. The temporary structure is expected to remain in place until work is complete to replace the permanent bridge, which has been in place since 1901.
“Today’s ‘last ride’ marks a bittersweet moment for City Island,” said NYC DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “This bridge has ably served this island for 114 years, so she has earned her retirement. To keep City Island moving, the de Blasio Administration is proud to have partnered with Bronx local elected officials, community leaders, New York State DOT and the Federal Highway Administration on a plan that allows us to open a temporary bridge. Together, we look forward to returning to open a wider, state-of-the art permanent bridge that will serve this beautiful, historic community for the next century.”
The existing bridge, which served as the sole vehicular, pedestrian and cyclist access to City Island until today and carried nearly 16,500 vehicles daily in 2012, is made up of seven spans standing over six piers in Eastchester Bay. The existing bridge, which requires extensive and continuous maintenance, will be replaced along the same alignment with a new three span structure supported by two piers in the waterway and will measure 17 feet wider than the existing bridge. The width of the new bridge will accommodate three standard traffic lanes as well as bicycle lanes and pedestrian walkway space. The new bridge will be designed to current standards and its width will allow for future repair and rehabilitation to be carried out while maintaining one lane of traffic in each direction. Additionally, the new bridge will eliminate the vehicle height restriction caused by the overhead truss on the old bridge.
“City Island Bridge is not just a structure spanning the Eastchester Bay, it is a critically important lifeline for City Islanders who use it to get to work every day, as well as to access food and supplies, ” said Comptroller Scott M. Stringer. “The old bridge served the city well, but after 114 repairs in just two years, it’s definitely time to replace it. I look forward to using the new bridge, and I applaud the Department of Transportation for working with the City Island community to develop a new design that saves money for the city, reduces disruptive construction time, and meets the needs of City Island residents.”
“For over 114 years the City Island Bridge has served the community at large, from residents to visitors and from food lovers to picture takers. Everyone has a memory or two to share about this bridge, and today is a new day. This bridge has served the borough well, and today’s ‘last ride’ marks an occasion to not only remember the past, but to look forward to major new infrastructure improvements in the years to come,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
“City Islanders are proud of their community’s unique history and character,” said Rep. Joe Crowley. “But as they cross over the old City Island Bridge for the last time, they can look forward to soon having a new, modernized replacement bridge to welcome New Yorkers onto the island. I thank the Department of Transportation for working closely with local residents throughout this process and I’m pleased to see it making great progress with the opening of the temporary bridge.”
“Having grown up in The Bronx, I remember my summers spent crossing the City Island Bridge, on my way to enjoy the delicious fresh seafood for which this island is well-known,” said Senator Jeffrey Klein. “This bridge has connected The Bronx with the iconic City Island since 1901, and today a city says goodbye with our final ride. But goodbye is not the last word here – I have been proud to work with the community and the Department of Transportation to help build the new bridge that City Island’s residents deserve. I hope that with this final ride across the City Island Bridge we can honor our past while looking towards The Bronx’s future.”
“We will all miss an old friend but we look forward to the coming of a new City Island Bridge which, I am sure, will serve us well,” said Assemblyman Michael Benedetto.
“I’m honored to take part in the last ride over the historic City Island bridge,” said City Council Member James Vacca. “The City Island bridge stood for a century as an iconic New York City landmark. Though we will all miss the classic look and feel of the current bridge, I look forward to the completion of the new bridge that we all worked hard in amending to its current proposed form.”
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