Queensboro Bridge 59th Street Bridge New York is located between 59th and 60th Streets – and officially titled the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge, is a cantilever bridge over the East River in New York City that was completed in 1909. It connects the neighborhood of Long Island City in the borough of Queens with Manhattan, passing over Roosevelt Island. It carries New York State Route 25 and is the westernmost of the four East River spans that carry a route number: NY 25 terminates at the west (Manhattan) side of the bridge, which once carried NY 24 and NY 25A as well. The bridge is flanked on its northern side by the freestanding Roosevelt Island Tramway. The bridge was, for a long time, simply called the Queensboro Bridge, but in March 2011, the bridge was officially renamed in honor of former New York City mayor Ed Koch.
No tolls are charged for motor vehicles to use the bridge. The Queensboro Bridge is the first entry point into Manhattan in the course of the New York City Marathon and the last exit point out of Manhattan in theFive Boro Bike Tour.
Serious proposals for a bridge linking Manhattan to Long Island City were first made as early as 1838 and attempts to finance such a bridge were made by a private company beginning in 1867. Its efforts never came to fruition and the company went bankrupt in the 1890s. Successful plans finally came about in 1903 under the city’s new Department of Bridges, led by Gustav Lindenthal (who was appointed to the new position of Commissioner of Bridges in 1902), in collaboration with Leffert L. Buck and Henry Hornbostel, designers of the Williamsburg Bridge.
Construction soon began, but it would take until 1909 for the bridge to be completed due to delays from the collapse of an incomplete span during a windstorm and from labor unrest (including an attempt to dynamite one span). The bridge opened to the public on March 30, 1909,having cost about $18 million and 50 lives. A ceremonial grand opening was held on June 12, 1909. It was then known as the Blackwell’s Island Bridge, from an earlier name for Roosevelt Island.