MTA Partnering with NYC Department of Records & Information Services

Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Bridges and Tunnels today announced it is partnering with the NYC Department of Records & Information Services to celebrate the 90th anniversary of MTA B&T with an exhibit exploring the history of the agency’s flagship crossing, the Triborough Bridge (renamed the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge in 2008) and its role in uniting Manhattan, the Bronx, and Queens in a rapidly modernizing city.  

The exhibit, entitled “Uniting the Boroughs: The Triborough Bridge,” uses original documents, photos and footage from the City’s Municipal Archives and MTA Bridges and Tunnels’ Special Archive and features a large-scale model of the Triborough Bridge and surrounding areas built circa 1934. “Uniting the Boroughs” documents how the bridge contributed to the further development of the city following the early decades of the subway system, including the history of Randall’s and Wards Islands as parks.  

“The Robert F. Kennedy Bridge is a shining example of how the MTA has been connecting communities throughout New York for nearly 90 years,” said MTA Bridges and Tunnels President Catherine Sheridan. “I’m so excited to be partnering with the City’s Department of Records & Information Services to celebrate and give the public an inside look at this engineering marvel.” 

“When it opened in 1936, the Triborough Bridge fulfilled a dream that began in 1916 — to link New York City’s boroughs,” said Department of Records and Information Services Commissioner Pauline Toole. “The photos, drawings and reports in the collections of the Municipal Archives and Library, and those at the MTA show the progress and eventual success of the engineering feat.”

“Uniting the Boroughs” focuses on the story of the evolving design and construction of the bridge, and the work of civil engineer Othmar Ammann to redesign the structure, overcoming multiple engineering difficulties to open in July 1936, two decades after its original conception. 

The bridge opened on July 11, 1936. It is actually three bridges and a viaduct, with more than 10 miles of roads connecting Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx. The bridge’s three branches meet on Randall’s Island, and provide access to the island itself. The RFK Bridge converted to cashless open road tolling in 2017.

“Uniting the Boroughs: The Triborough Bridge” opens at the Surrogate’s Court building at 31 Chambers Street on Thursday, Oct. 26, and runs through June 2024. More information on the exhibit can be found here

Leave a Reply