New York’s Queensboro Bridge, the first ever double-decked bridge, opened

Tuesday 30th March 1909

New York’s Queensboro Bridge, the first ever double-decked bridge, opened. It connects the neighborhood of Long Island City in the borough of Queens with Manhattan, passing over Roosevelt Island. The bridge’s upper level originally contained two pedestrian walks and two elevated railway tracks (which connected a spur of the IRT Second Avenue Elevated Line to the Queensboro Plaza elevated station) and the lower deck four motor traffic lanes, and what is now the “outer roadway” and pedestrian walk were two trolley lanes. A trolley connected passengers from Queens and Manhattan to a stop in the middle of the bridge, where passengers could take an elevator or the stairs down to Roosevelt Island. The trolley operated from the bridge’s opening until April 7, 1957. The railway was removed in the late 1930s and early 1940s as well as the 2nd Avenue Elevated Line. The trolley lanes and mid-bridge station, as well as the stairs, were removed in the 1950s, and for the next few decades the bridge carried 11 lanes of automobile traffic. In March 2011, the bridge was officially renamed in honor of former New York City mayor Ed Koch.

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