Roosevelt Island Bridge

The Roosevelt Island Bridge is a vertical lift bridge that connects Roosevelt Island in Manhattan to Astoria in Queens, crossing the East Channel of the East River. It is the sole route to the island for vehicular and foot traffic (without using public transportation).

Roosevelt Island Bridge
Roosevelt Island Bridge from the south (41860).jpg
Roosevelt Island Bridge as viewed from the south on Roosevelt Island
Coordinates40°45′48″N 73°56′44″W / 40.76333°N 73.94556°W / 40.76333; -73.94556Coordinates: 40°45′48″N 73°56′44″W / 40.76333°N 73.94556°W / 40.76333; -73.94556
Carries2 lanes of 36th Ave and a sidewalk on the north side
CrossesEast River (East Channel)
LocaleRoosevelt Island and Queens, New York
Maintained byNew York City Department of Transportation
DesignLift bridge
Total length2,877 ft (877 m)[1]
Width40 ft (12 m)[1]
Longest span418 ft (127 m)[1]
Clearance below100 ft (30 m) when open
OpenedMay 18, 1955; 65 years ago (1955-05-18)
Daily traffic8,313 (2016)[2]
Roosevelt Island Bridge is located in New York City
Roosevelt Island Bridge
Location in New York City


Construction of the bridge began on March 17, 1952, at a cost of $6.5 million. It opened on May 18, 1955, as the Welfare Island Bridge.[3] The name was changed to the Roosevelt Island Bridge in 1973.[4]

When the bridge is open it provides ships with 100 feet (30 m) of vertical clearance. It is 40 feet (12 m) wide, and its total length, including approaches, is 2,877 feet (877 m). The main span is 418 feet (127 m).

Before the bridge was constructed, the only way vehicles could access Roosevelt Island was via an elevator on the Queensboro Bridge.[5] The elevator was subsequently demolished in 1970.

The Roosevelt Island Bridge provides direct access to the Motorgate Parking Garage, which was designed to minimize vehicular traffic on the island. The garage was completed in 1974 and later expanded in 1990.

In 2001, the New York City Department of Transportation considered converting the Roosevelt Island Bridge into a fixed bridge to reduce the cost of its maintenance. The bridge is rarely opened, because most vessels passing by Roosevelt Island use the West Channel of the East River.[4] Most of the bridge openings occur in September during the General Assembly at the United Nations when the West Channel is closed for security reasons.[6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "Roosevelt Island Bridge Facts". New York City Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on May 4, 2010. Retrieved February 27, 2010.
  2. ^ "New York City Bridge Traffic Volumes" (PDF). New York City Department of Transportation. 2016. p. 10. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  3. ^ "Welfare Island Gets Own Bridge; $6,500,000 Link With Long Island City Is Opened by Jack and Lundy". The New York Times. May 19, 1955. p. 33. Retrieved August 15, 2009.
  4. ^ a b Lippincott, E.E. (January 14, 2001). "Neighborhood Report: Roosevelt Island; ... and a Recommendation to Make Its Only Bridge an Immovable Object". The New York Times. Retrieved August 15, 2009.
  5. ^ Guide to Civil Engineering Projects In and Around New York City (2nd ed.). Metropolitan Section, American Society of Civil Engineers. 2009. p. 45.
  6. ^ "Roosevelt Island Bridge". New York City Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on May 1, 2010. Retrieved February 27, 2010.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Roosevelt Island Bridge at Wikimedia Commons