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Trainspotter

Toned-down Queensboro bridge's birthday?

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It's enough to give a bridge an inferiority complex.

 

The Queensboro Bridge may not get any fireworks for its 100th birthday celebration in May.

 

Organizers of the NYC Bridge Centennial Commission say donations have dried up and they are about $75,000 short.

 

The span that connects Queens to Manhattan and was immortalized in Woody Allen films and a Simon and Garfunkel tune turns 100 today. A week-long birthday bash starts May 31.

 

"We're hoping someone steps forward and lights our candles," said Sam (Gridlock Sam) Schwartz, a former deputy transportation commissioner who is president of the nonprofit centennial commission. "It would be a shame."

 

The Queensboro Bridge, like other city bridges, suffers in the shadow of the historic and popular Brooklyn Bridge, which had fireworks for its 100th anniversary bash in 1983 - and for its 125th celebration just last year.

 

"They are all like stepchildren to that beautiful bridge," Schwartz said. "People often say 'Well, if it was the Brooklyn Bridge, we would give you money.' What are we going to do? Collect money for the 127th birthday of the Brooklyn Bridge?"

 

Still, the Queensboro Bridge has its own storied history.

 

It was built from 1901 to 1909 with what was then the unique cantilever design. This distinguished it from the other East River crossings, which are all suspension bridges.

 

The bridge made Queens, at the time viewed as farm country, more accessible and allowed for rapid development in Long Island City and Astoria, as well as the Queens Blvd. corridor.

 

Even today, it is the most heavily used of all the East River bridges, Schwartz said.

 

"The opening of the Queensboro Bridge was probably the most significant event in creating modern Queens as we know it." said Robert Singleton of the Greater Astoria Historical Society. "It really defined the borough for decades."

 

The commission has raised about $150,000 for the bridge celebration, which will include a reenactment of the first trip over the bridge.

 

Queens Borough President Helen Marshall and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer have agreed to make the trip in vintage cars and period dress from the day.

 

There will be bands and even an FDNY fireboat. If no one steps up, there won't be any fireworks, though.

 

"We're hoping to pull off a Cinderella act," Schwartz said.

 

BY Lisa L. Colangelo

DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

March 30th 2009

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Very cool big beautiful bridge. It got a new coat of paint recently, so that's a plus. BB didn't and needs one to stave of aging of its wire rope.

 

- A

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They should ask the (MTA) for the money...;) Back on topic, the QueensBoro/59 Street Bridge is a unique piece of Greater New York History. I would love to be there and photograph the celebration with fireworks :tup:

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"The city seen from the Queensboro Bridge is always the city seen from the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and beauty in the world."-F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby.

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The Queensboro Bridge is ok, but it's always under construction. It seems like that construction tarp was on the upper level for the past 15 years.

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The Queensboro Bridge is ok, but it's always under construction. It seems like that construction tarp was on the upper level for the past 15 years.

 

Sometimes it takes that long to fix something.

 

- A

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The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco take 356 days to paint, so it is a never ending job.

Aside from being at Queens Borough Plaza a few times, I have never had a reason to use the bridge. In these tough times were there is more to worry about then a bridge anniversary, save the money on a big gig for it. It a few balloons to it, make a signs or two and call it a day.

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It's a very cool beautiful big bridge, i deserves a lot of accolades for what it has done to make NYC as successful as it has become.

 

As for no fireworks, well... there's roosevelt island right below, so i don't blame them.

 

Maybe they could put some LED lights on it, similar to what the GWB has.

 

- A

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It's ugly. When it was built it was done as cheaply as possible.

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It's a very cool beautiful big bridge, i deserves a lot of accolades for what it has done to make NYC as successful as it has become.

 

As for no fireworks, well... there's roosevelt island right below, so i don't blame them.

 

Maybe they could put some LED lights on it, similar to what the GWB has.

 

- A

 

Queens would be so different without it.

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There's this kiosk thing on the Manhattan side. It is actually a former entrance to an underground trolley terminal. Trolleys would go on the ped path, I believe. There would be a mid-river stop and people would access Blackwell's Island (Roosevelt) via a lift. In fact, that was the ONLY way to get there. Trolleys ran on the bridge from the terminal to as far as Jamaica, Queens, via Queens Blvd. Many of these routes evaporated due to popularity of buses, automobiles and subways.

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Go on with your babble...whilst I make an effort to keep this on topic.

There's this kiosk thing on the Manhattan side. It is actually a former entrance to an underground trolley terminal. Trolleys would go on the ped path, I believe. There would be a mid-river stop and people would access Blackwell's Island (Roosevelt) via a lift. In fact, that was the ONLY way to get there. Trolleys ran on the bridge from the terminal to as far as Jamaica, Queens, via Queens Blvd. Many of these routes evaporated due to popularity of buses, automobiles and subways.

 

That entrance/exit kiosk is actually moved from its original location. The real entrance/exit is still there somewhere though under the concrete.

 

They had to move it, because it was too close to the traffic i believe.

 

There are proposals out there to re-open this trolly line on one side of the bridge only & have a new elevator put in and such, however with a new tram, and possible 11 car (F) trains i don't see this happening any time soon.

 

There is only one remaining trolly car left in the world that ran on the bridge, and it is basically falling apart. It was found in a scrapper's yard awaiting disassembly, but they saved it. It's at some museum/preservation place now. Sadly decades of exposure to the elements has not been kind, and it may just sit like that till its gone.

 

- A

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