3 votes

Triborough Suspension Bridge


Photo taken by Historic American Engineering Record

View photos at Library of Congress

BH Photo #160319


Street Views 


The Warren through truss approaches have an interesting design. They are bisected with overly large piers that extend up through the truss structure (in essence dividing the truss into three separate trusses above the roadway).

The Robert F. Kennedy Bridge (formerly the Triborough Bridge), the authority's flagship facility, opened in 1936. It is actually three bridges, a viaduct, and 14 miles of approach roads connecting Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx.

The Manhattan branch is the Harlem River Lift Bridge, which links the Harlem River Drive, the FDR Drive, and 125th Street, Harlem's commercial and cultural center. The Bronx Crossing leads motorists to points north via the Bruckner and Deegan expressways and, more locally, to the neighborhoods of the South Bronx and the Port Morris Industrial Area. The longest span of the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, the East River Suspension Bridge to Queens, connects with the Grand Central Parkway and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and to Astoria's residential areas, restaurants, and shops.

The bridge's three branches meet on Randall's Island, where an interchange and two toll plazas sort out traffic flowing in 12 directions and provide access to the island itself. Adjacent to the Manhattan toll plaza is the Robert Moses Administration Building, the TBTA's headquarters.

Randall's Island is largely city parkland; that includes Icahn Stadium, softball fields, tennis courts, picnic areas, and some city facilities. In 1951, the TBTA constructed and gave to the city a pedestrian bridge between 103rd Street in Manhattan and Wards Island, providing another access by foot to Randall's Island and Wards Island.-http://web.mta.info/bandt/html/rfk.html


Suspension bridge over East River (Hell Gate) on I-278 in New York
New York City, Queens County, New York, and New York County, New York
Open to eight lanes of traffic and one sidewalk
Opened to traffic July 11, 1936
- Leon Moisseiff of Riga, Latvia
- Othmar Ammann of Feuerthalen, Canton of Zürich, Switzerland
Wire suspension
Length of largest span: 1,380.0 ft.
Total length: 13,110.5 ft. (2.5 mi.)
Deck width: 90.6 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 14.5 ft.
Also called
Robert F. Kennedy Bridge
RFK Triborough Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.77976, -73.92664   (decimal degrees)
40°46'47" N, 73°55'36" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/590572/4514863 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Central Park
Average daily traffic (as of 2011)
Inventory numers
NY 5521889 (New York State bridge identification number)
BH 26673 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of October 2016)
Overall condition: Fair
Superstructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 41 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • December 8, 2016: Updated by Royce and Bobette Haley: added description
  • September 9, 2016: New Street View added by Dana and Kay Klein
  • August 1, 2016: Updated by Royce and Bobette Haley: Added approaches and AKA
  • July 16, 2015: New photo from Gene Smania
  • July 1, 2013: Photo imported by Dave King
  • March 11, 2012: Photos imported by James Baughn
  • April 2, 2010: New photos from Jason Smith


  • Wikipedia
  • Jason Smith - flensburg [dot] bridgehunter [dot] av [at] googlemail [dot] com
  • Royce and Bobette Haley - roycehaley111 [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Dana and Kay Klein


Triborough Suspension Bridge
Posted December 8, 2016, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

That's the Bronx Kills span, its a special design (based on Warren truss) because it was built as three fixed through truss spans, specially configured for easy future adaptation to a vertical lift design (towers and machinery would have been constructed on the bridge).

Similar provisions were made for the Hell Gate Bridge's Bronx Kills span, except that bridge was intended to be a Strauss bascule rather than a lift. Ultimately the conversions never happened with either bridge.



Triborough Suspension Bridge
Posted December 8, 2016, by Royce and Bobette Haley (roycehaley111 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Is there a name for this type of truss design?

Triborough Suspension Bridge
Posted December 8, 2016, by Royce and Bobette Haley (roycehaley111 [at] yahoo [dot] com)