Home MTA Bridges and Tunnels A bridge under a bridge over troubled waters

A bridge under a bridge over troubled waters

by Benjamin Kabak

This excellent photo made the rounds yesterday morning a few hours after the new Willis Ave. Bridge made its way north up the East River. Unfortunately, the old 9-to-5 had me away from the computer for the duration, and I couldn’t get this published until today. No matter; it’s still a great photo.

What we see here is the NYC Department of Transportation’s new Willis Ave. Bridge floating underneath the raised span of the RFK — or Triborough — Bridge. This lift began at 9:57 a.m. and concluded 43 minutes later at 10:36 a.m. as traffic was halted across the bridge.

Despite the clearance on the sides, this maneuver wasn’t as easy it looks. The new 2400-ton bridge is 65 feet high, 350 feet long and 77 feet wide, and the barge carrying it was 300 feet wide, just 10 feet shy of the width of the Harlem Lift Span. “We’re old pros at doing these lifts for normal marine traffic but this was like threading
a needle,” Raymond Bush, the general manager of the RFK Bridge, said. “The captain of the barge was being extremely cautious to make sure they didn’t hit the lift span.”

Photo courtesy of MTA Bridges and Tunnels/Raymond Bush.

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John S July 27, 2010 - 1:57 pm

That would be the Willis Avenue Bridge…

Kid Twist July 27, 2010 - 2:05 pm

Whatchoo talkin’ about, Willets?

Benjamin Kabak July 27, 2010 - 2:08 pm

Well played.

Jerrold July 27, 2010 - 10:55 pm

Somewhat off-topic, but this reminds me of how everybody was crticizing the renaming of the Triborough Bridge. The most perfectly named bridge in town should have been allowed to keep its old name.


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