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Covering the LoHud commute

Happy 70th, Whitestone Bridge


Seventy years ago today, cars began crossing the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge.

At the opening ceremony, on April 29, 1939, Robert Moses proclaimed it “The finest suspension bridge of them all.” That was a bold claim, considering, as one example, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge — almost four times as long as the Whitestone at 1.7 miles long — had opened two years earlier.

Still, the 2,300-foot-long Bronx-Whitestone was a major crossing, making it easier for people in the Bronx, Westchester and other northern suburbs to get to Queens and Long Island. In fact, it was timed to open the day before the 1939-40 New York World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

Here, courtesy of the MTA Bridges and Tunnels Special Archive, is a photo of the bridge when it was being built.

Bridges tend to become such crucial links that it is hard to imagine a time before them. This was a key span over Long Island Sound. Keep in mind, the Throgs Neck Bridge would not be built for another 22 years, in an entirely different age, when Long Island had filled with suburbanites after World War II. The Throgs Neck span was built to alleviate traffic on the Bronx-Whitestone.

The Bronx-Whitestone was built in 22 months. In its first year 6 million cars and trucks crossed it, said MTA Bridges and Tunnels President Susan Kupferman. Last year, 43 million crossed it.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 29th, 2009 at 11:00 am by Ken Valenti. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
Category: Bridges, Bronx-Whitestone Bridge, Cars, MTA



About this blog
Going Places is your online source for shortcuts and news on the ins and outs of getting around the Lower Hudson Valley. We'll help you deal with traffic tie-ups, bad drivers and the high cost of commuting.

Going Places is written by transportation writers Khurram Saeed and Ken Valenti. Khurram's transportation column, "Getting There," runs Wednesdays in Rockland. Ken's column, "Going Places," runs Mondays in Westchester and Putnam. Join in the conversation and share tips on coping with fellow commuters.


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About the author
Khurram SaeedKhurram SaeedKhurram Saeed has been reporting for The Journal News since 2000. He writes about transportation issues in Rockland and has a weekly column called Getting There, which appears Wednesdays. READ MORE

Ken Valenti Ken Valenti Ken Valenti covers trains, planes and automobiles - not to mention buses and ferries - for Westchester and Putnam. He's been a reporter with The Journal News and its forerunners more than 20 years and has covered all four corners of Westchester County. READ MORE

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