FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 23, 2011
MAYOR BLOOMBERG APPLAUDS CITY COUNCIL DESIGNATION OF THE ED KOCH QUEENSBORO BRIDGE
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg proposed legislation in December to rename the Queensboro Bridge as the "Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge" in honor of the 105th Mayor of the City of New York, Mayor Edward I. Koch. The legislation passed the City Council today by a vote of 38-12. All sign replacements will be paid for with private donations raised through the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City.
"Ed Koch led our City back from the brink of ruin and put the building blocks in place to make New York City what it is today," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Ed Koch is responsible for so much of the progress we enjoy and the renaming is a perfect tribute to one of our City's greatest mayors. He literally saved this bridge and began the process of reinvesting in then crumbling bridges across the city. His work in saving the City's bridges is symbolic of his overall legacy of turning around the direction our city and building a better future. I want to thank Speaker Quinn and overwhelming majority of the City Council for helping us honor Ed Koch."
When Mayor Koch assumed office, the Queensboro Bridge had reached near-critical condition, with corrosion throughout the bridge and closed outer roadways that were no longer safe to use. Much of the bridge had not even been inspected in nearly a decade. Mayor Koch invested in the bridge, starting its first major rehabilitation and bringing the bridge into a state of good repair, similar to the efforts he began on the rest of the City's bridges.
In 1978, the City had no capital program to repair transportation infrastructure, a causality of the 1970s fiscal crisis. Despite extremely difficult fiscal circumstances, Mayor Koch re-started the Department of Transportation's capital program and began the work of rebuilding the City's transportation infrastructure. The City's East River bridges, including the Queensboro Bridge, had been turned over the New York State for stewardship, as the City was no longer able to maintain the structures. Under Mayor Koch, the City regained control of the bridges and began repairing them. Mayor Koch created the Bureau of Bridges within the Department of Transportation and fully funded the bureau. Previously, bridges were considered an afterthought to highway work and had fallen into a state of disrepair citywide. The City has reduced the number of bridges in poor condition from 74 in 1986 to zero bridges used by vehicles today, due to the work of the bureau founded and funded by Mayor Koch.
Stu Loeser/Marc La Vorgna (212) 788-2958
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