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The Manhattan Bridge and Brooklyn Bridge on the East River in 1981

New York City is home to many bridges and tunnels. Several agencies manage this network of crossings. The New York City Department of Transportation owns and operates almost 800. [1] The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, New York State Department of Transportation and Amtrak have many others.

Many of the city's major bridges and tunnels have broken or set records. Opened in 1927, the Holland Tunnel was the world's first mechanically ventilated underwater vehicular tunnel. The Brooklyn Bridge, Williamsburg Bridge, George Washington Bridge, and Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge were the world's longest suspension bridges when opened in 1883, [2] 1903, [3] 1931, [4] and 1964 [5] respectively. There are 789 bridges and tunnels in New York.


New York City's crossings date back to 1693, when its first bridge, known as the King's Bridge, was constructed over Spuyten Duyvil Creek between Manhattan and the Bronx, located in the present-day Kingsbridge neighborhood. The bridge, composed of stone abutments and a timber deck, was demolished in 1917. The oldest crossing still standing is High Bridge, built 1848 to carry the Croton Aqueduct from Manhattan to the Bronx over the Harlem River. [6] This bridge was built to carry water to the city as part of the Croton Aqueduct system.

Ten bridges and one tunnel serving the city have been awarded some level of landmark status. The Holland Tunnel was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1993 in recognition of its pioneering role as the first mechanically ventilated vehicular underwater tunnel, operating since 1927. The George Washington, High, Hell Gate, Queensboro, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Macombs Dam, Carroll Street, University Heights, and Washington Bridges have all received landmark status, as well. [6]

New York features bridges of many lengths and types, carrying vehicular, bicycle, pedestrian, and subway traffic. The George Washington Bridge, spanning the Hudson River between New York City and Fort Lee, New Jersey, is the world's busiest bridge in terms of vehicular traffic. [7] [8] The George Washington, Verrazzano-Narrows, and Brooklyn Bridges are noted for their architecture, while others are more well known for their functional importance, such as the Williamsburg Bridge with 8 vehicular lanes, 2 subway tracks, a bike lane, and pedestrian walkways.

Bridges by body of water

East River

South Street Seaport, with the Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, and Williamsburg Bridge visible in the background
J train on the Williamsburg Bridge

From south to north:

Name Opening year Length Carries Comments
feet meters
Brooklyn Bridge 1883 5,988 1,825 5 lanes of roadway (2 Manhattan-bound, 3 Brooklyn-bound) Oldest suspension bridge in NYC. Also oldest suspension/cable-stayed hybrid bridge.
Manhattan Bridge 1909 6,854 2,089 7 lanes of roadway and "B" train "D" train "N" train "Q" train trains Double-decker bridge with 5 westbound lanes and 2 eastbound lanes. 3 of the westbound lanes and the subway are below the other 4 lanes.
Williamsburg Bridge 1903 7,308.0 2,227.48 8 lanes of roadway (4 in each direction) and "J" train "M" train "Z" train​ trains
Queensboro Bridge 1909 3,724 1,135 9 lanes of NY 25 (Queens Boulevard) Officially known as the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge. Also known as 59th Street Bridge. Reversible 4 lanes on the upper deck, and 2 westbound/3 eastbound lanes on the lower deck.
Roosevelt Island Bridge 1955 2,877.0 876.91 2 lanes of roadway (1 in each direction) East channel only
Triborough Bridge (Suspension Bridge) 1936 2,790 850 8 lanes of I-278 (4 in each direction) Officially known as the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge
Hell Gate Bridge 1916 1,020 310 3 rail tracks (2 of Northeast Corridor, 1 of New York Connecting Railroad)
Rikers Island Bridge 1966 4,200.0 1,280.16 2 lanes of roadway Only connects Rikers Island to Queens
Bronx–Whitestone Bridge 1939 3,770.0 1,149.10 6 lanes of I-678 (Whitestone Expressway)
Throgs Neck Bridge 1961 2,910.0 886.97 6 lanes of I-295 (Throgs Neck Expressway)

Harlem River

Wards Island Bridge in "open" position

From south to north, east to west:

Name Opening year Length Carries Comments
feet meters
Wards Island Bridge 1951 937 285.6 Pedestrians and bicycles only
Triborough Bridge (Vertical-Lift Bridge) 1936 750 230 2 lanes of exit ramp from F.D.R. Drive Officially known as the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge
Willis Avenue Bridge 1901 3,212 979 4 lanes of roadway Northbound traffic only
Third Avenue Bridge 1898 2,800.0 853.44 5 lanes of roadway Southbound traffic only
Park Avenue Bridge 1956 330 100 4 tracks of Metro-North
Madison Avenue Bridge 1910 1,893 577 4 lanes of roadway
145th Street Bridge 1905 1,604 489 4 lanes of roadway
Macombs Dam Bridge 1895 2,539 774 4 lanes of roadway
High Bridge 1848 2,000 600 Pedestrian walkway and bicycle lanes Oldest surviving bridge in New York City
Alexander Hamilton Bridge 1963 2,375 724 8 lanes of I-95 and US 1
Washington Bridge 1888 2,375 723.9 6 lanes of roadway
University Heights Bridge 1908 269 82 2 lanes of roadway
Broadway Bridge 1962 558.0 170.08 4 lanes of Broadway/ US 9 and the "1" train train Also known as Harlem Ship Canal Bridge
Henry Hudson Bridge 1936 2,208 673 6 lanes of NY 9A / Henry Hudson Parkway Double-decked bridge
Spuyten Duyvil Bridge 1899 610 186 1 track of Empire Corridor Swing bridge

Hudson River

George Washington Bridge
Name Opening year Length Carries Comments
feet meters
George Washington Bridge 1931 4,760.0 1,450.85 14 lanes of I-95 / US 1 / US 9 / US 46 Double-deck, 8 lanes on upper level, 6 lanes on lower level. 7 lanes in each direction.

New York Bay

Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge
Name Opening year Length Carries Comments
feet meters
Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge 1964 13,701 4,176 13 lanes of I-278 Double-deck, 7 lanes on upper level; 3 in each direction and 1 reversible HOV 3+ lane. 6 lanes on lower level; three in each direction.

Newtown Creek

Borden Avenue, Long Island City
Name Opening year Length Carries Comments
feet meters
Kosciuszko Bridge 2017, 2019 6,020 1,835 6 lanes of I-278 Eastbound span opened in April 2017, and westbound span opened in August 2019. It replaces the original bridge
Pulaski Bridge 1954 2,820 860 6 lanes of McGuinness Boulevard Drawbridge
Greenpoint Avenue Bridge 1987 [9] 180 55 4 lanes of Greenpoint Avenue a.k.a. J. J. Byrne Memorial Bridge
Grand Street Bridge 1903 [9] 227 69.2 1 lane of Grand Avenue Swing bridge; one-lane bridge
Metropolitan Avenue Bridge 1933 [9] 111 33.8 4 lanes of Grand Street and Metropolitan Avenue Drawbridge; Crosses English Kills, a tributary of Newtown Creek [9]


The Bronx

Name Opening year Length Carries Comments
Bronx Kill
Robert F. Kennedy Bridge 1936 1,610 feet (490 m) 8 lanes of I-278 Formerly known as the Triborough Bridge
Hutchinson River (heading downriver)
Eastchester Bridge 1926 0.4 miles 4 lanes of Boston Road ( US 1)
I-95 bridge 1961 5,280 feet 6 lanes of I-95
Hutchinson River Parkway Bridge 1941 673 feet (205 m) 6 lanes of Hutchinson River Parkway Drawbridge
Pelham Bay Bridge 1908 81 feet (25 m) Northeast Corridor (Amtrak) Also called Amtrak Pelham Bay Bridge
Pelham Bridge 1908 892 feet (272 m) 4 lanes of Shore Road Drawbridge
Westchester Creek
Unionport Bridge 1953 526 feet (160.3 m) 7 lanes of I-278 ( Bruckner Boulevard) / I-95
Bronx River
Eastern Boulevard Bridge 1953 634 feet (193.2 m) I-278 Drawbridge
Eastchester Bay
City Island Bridge 1901 950 feet (290 m) 3 lanes of City Island Avenue


Ninth Street Bridge, spanning Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn
Name Opening year Length Carries Comments
Gowanus Canal
Union Street Bridge 1905 [10] 600 feet 2 lanes of Union Street Drawbridge
Carroll Street Bridge 1889 [10] 300 feet 2 lanes of Carroll Street New York City Designated Landmark and one of four retractable bridges in the country [11]
Third Street Bridge 1905 [10] 350 feet Third Street
Ninth Street Bridge 1999 [10] 700 feet Ninth Street Vertical Lift Bridge
Culver Viaduct 1933 [12] 0.6 miles "F" train "F" express train "G" train trains passes over the Ninth Street Bridge, carrying 4 tracks, 2 express and 2 local
Hamilton Avenue Bridge 1942 [10] 0.7 miles Hamilton Avenue passes under the Gowanus Expressway and carries four lanes of traffic in each direction
Gowanus Expressway 1941 [13] 9 lanes of I-278 (Gowanus Expressway)
Mill Basin
Mill Basin Bridge 2017 6 lanes of Belt Parkway The bridge has a combined bicycle and pedestrian pathway on the eastbound side of the bridge which carries the Jamaica Bay Greenway
Mill Basin Drawbridge


1940 825 ft 6 lanes of Belt Parkway Twin-leaf bascule bridge; demolished in 2018 and replaced by Mill Basin Bridge
Rockaway Inlet (Brooklyn and Queens)
Marine Parkway–Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge 1937 1226 m 4 lanes of Flatbush Avenue also has a narrow combined bicycle and pedestrian path on the southbound side of the bridge


Name Opening year Length Carries Comments
Dutch Kills
Borden Avenue Bridge 1908 [9] 100 feet 2 lanes of Borden Avenue One of four retractable bridges in the country [11]
Hunters Point Avenue Bridge 1910 [9] 500 feet Hunters Point Avenue
Cabin M Bridge 1 track of the Montauk Cutoff There is another abandoned track on the bridge
DB Cabin Bridge 1 track of the Montauk Branch The bridge was originally built to carry three tracks
Jamaica Bay
Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge 1970 0.7 miles 6 lanes Cross Bay Boulevard
Joseph P. Addabbo Memorial Bridge 1971 0.7 miles 6 lanes of Cross Bay Boulevard
North Channel Swing Bridge "A" train train Not actually a movable bridge.
Howard Beach to Broad Channel.
Beach Channel Drawbridge "A" train Rockaway Park Shuttle trains Broad Channel to The Rockaways
102nd Street Bridge Connecting Hamilton Beach at Russell Street with Howard Beach, also known as "Lenihan's Bridge".
Hawtree Creek Bridge 163rd Avenue and 99th Street in Howard Beach across to Hamilton Beach at Rau Court and Davenport Court
Rockaway Inlet (Brooklyn and Queens)
Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge 1937 1226 m 4 lanes of Flatbush Avenue

Staten Island

Name Opening year Length Carries Comments
Arthur Kill
Goethals Bridge 2018 [14] [15] 2225.04 m 6 lanes of I-278 Replaced the old Goethals Bridge (completed 1928); the two new spans are a cable-stayed design
Arthur Kill Vertical Lift Bridge 1959 170.08 m CSX and M&E rail lines
Outerbridge Crossing 1928 3093 m 4 lanes of Route 440; NY 440
Kill Van Kull
Bayonne Bridge 1931 1761.74 m 4 lanes of NY 440; Route 440 raised and rebuilt in 2019


The Queens–Midtown Tunnel

Each of the tunnels that run underneath the East and Hudson Rivers were marvels of engineering when first constructed. The Holland Tunnel is the oldest of the vehicular tunnels, opening to great fanfare in 1927 as the first mechanically ventilated underwater tunnel. The Queens Midtown Tunnel was opened in 1940 to relieve the congestion on the city's bridges. Each of its tubes were designed 1.5 feet (0.46 m) wider than the Holland Tunnel in order to accommodate the wider cars of the period. When the Brooklyn–Battery Tunnel opened in 1950, it was the longest continuous underwater vehicular tunnel in North America, a title it still holds. [16] The Lincoln Tunnel has three tubes linking midtown Manhattan to New Jersey, a configuration that provides the flexibility to provide four lanes in one direction during rush hours, or three lanes in both direction.

All four underwater road tunnels were built by Ole Singstad: the Holland Tunnel's original chief engineer Clifford Milburn Holland died, as did his successor, Milton H. Freeman, after which Singstad became chief engineer, finishing the Holland Tunnel and then building the remaining tunnels.

East River

PATH train emerging from the Hudson tubes, into the Exchange Place station
Traveling through the Holland Tunnel, from Manhattan to Jersey City, New Jersey

From south to north:

Name Opening year Length Carries Comments
Brooklyn–Battery Tunnel 1950 2,779 m (9,117 ft) 4 lanes of I-478 Officially known as the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel
Joralemon Street Tunnel 1908 2,709 m (8,888 ft) "4" train "5" train trains
Montague Street Tunnel 1920 2,136 m (7,009 ft) "N" train "R" train "W" train trains
Clark Street Tunnel 1919 1,800 m (5,900 ft) "2" train "3" train trains
Cranberry Street Tunnel 1933 "A" train "C" train trains
Rutgers Street Tunnel 1936 "F" train "F" express train​ trains
14th Street Tunnel 1924 "L" train train
East River Tunnels 1910 1,204 m (3,949 ft) part of the New York Tunnel Extension
Amtrak and Long Island Rail Road ( Northeast Corridor)
Queens–Midtown Tunnel 1940 1,955 m (6,414 ft) 4 lanes of I-495 ( Long Island Expressway)
Steinway Tunnel 1915 "7" train "7" express train​ trains
53rd Street Tunnel 1933 "E" train "M" train trains
60th Street Tunnel 1920 "N" train "R" train "W" train trains
63rd Street Tunnel 1989 960 m (3,140 ft) Upper level: "F" train "F" express train train
Lower level: LIRR to Grand Central Madison
Ravenswood Tunnel 1892 Electricity, natural gas, steam, and number 6 fuel oil First tunnel under the East River and Roosevelt Island, between Big Allis power plant in Astoria and Upper East Side [17] [18]

Harlem River

From south to north:

Name Opening year Length Carries Comments
Lexington Avenue Tunnel 1918 391 m (1,283 ft) "4" train "5" train "6" train "6" express train trains
149th Street Tunnel 1905 195 m (641 ft) "2" train train
Concourse Tunnel 1933 "B" train "D" train trains

Hudson River

From south to north:

Name Opening year Length Carries Comments
Downtown Hudson Tubes 1909 1,720 m (5,650 ft) Montgomery-Cortlandt Tunnels
Port Authority Trans-Hudson
Holland Tunnel 1927 south tube: 2,551 m (8,371 ft)
north tube: 2,608 m (8,558 ft)
4 lanes of I-78 (Canal Street); Route 139 (NJ side)
Uptown Hudson Tubes 1908 1,700 m (5,500 ft) Hoboken-Morton Tunnels
Port Authority Trans-Hudson
North River Tunnels 1910 1,900 m (6,100 ft) part of New York Tunnel Extension
Amtrak and New Jersey Transit ( Northeast Corridor)
Lincoln Tunnel north tube: 1945
center tube: 1937
south tube: 1957
south tube: 2,440 m (8,006 ft)
center tube: 2,504 m (8,216 ft)
north tube: 2,281 m (7,482 ft)
6 lanes of NY 495 (NY side); Route 495 (NJ side)

Newtown Creek

Name Opening year Carries Comments
Greenpoint Tube 1933 "G" train train

Bridges and tunnels spanning land only

Bridges and tunnels by use

The relative average number of inbound vehicles between 5 a.m. and 11 a.m. to Midtown and Lower Manhattan is:

  1. Queensboro Bridge: 31,000
  2. Lincoln Tunnel: 25,944
  3. Brooklyn Bridge: 22,241
  4. Williamsburg Bridge: 18,339
  5. Queens-Midtown Tunnel: 17,968
  6. Holland Tunnel: 16,257
  7. Brooklyn Battery Tunnel: 14,496
  8. Manhattan Bridge: 13,818

See also


  1. ^ "NYC DOT - Bridges". Retrieved February 20, 2022.
  2. ^ "NYC DOT - Brooklyn Bridge". Retrieved February 24, 2012.
  3. ^ "NYC DOT - Williamsburg Bridge". Retrieved February 24, 2012.
  4. ^ "History - George Washington Bridge - The Port Authority of NY & NJ". Retrieved February 24, 2012.
  5. ^ "Verrazano-Narrows Bridge". Retrieved February 24, 2012.
  6. ^ a b "NYC DOT - Frequently Asked Questions about Bridges". Retrieved February 24, 2012.
  7. ^ "Port Authority of New York and New Jersey - George Washington Bridge". The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. Retrieved September 13, 2013.
  8. ^ Bod Woodruff; Lana Zak & Stephanie Wash (November 20, 2012). "GW Bridge Painters: Dangerous Job on Top of the World's Busiest Bridge". ABC News. Retrieved September 13, 2013.
  9. ^ a b c d e f "Movable Bridges over Newtown Creek and its Tributaries". New York City. Retrieved September 20, 2013.
  10. ^ a b c d e New York City Dept. of Transportation. "Bridges over the Gowanus Canal". New York City. Retrieved September 20, 2013.
  11. ^ a b Berger, Joseph (May 13, 2013). "Antique Bridge Closed to Traffic While It's Open for Repairs". New York Times. Retrieved July 1, 2018.
  12. ^ "City Subway Extended". The New York Times. October 7, 1933. p. 16. ISSN  0362-4331. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
  13. ^ "Gowanus Expressway". Retrieved July 1, 2018.
  14. ^ Porpora, Tracey (June 11, 2017). "Goethals Bridge now open in both directions". Retrieved June 12, 2017.
  15. ^ Grunlund, Maura (May 21, 2018). "First a.m. rush hour for new Goethals Bridge to New Jersey". Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  16. ^ "Hugh L. Carey Tunnel (formerly Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel)". MTA Bridges & Tunnels. Retrieved December 2, 2015.
  17. ^ Tunnel Under The East River
  18. ^ How the First East River Tunnel was built

External links