Thursday, September 27, 2007

Roosevelt Island Could Have Had Four (4) Bridges

Yes, it’s true at this moment I am obsessed with the concept of bridges. In July 1969, a plan to develop Roosevelt Island with private funding was delivered to then Governor Rockefeller which proposed a “commercial, intellectual, recreational and residential “city of the future” housing 150,0000 people.” To be honest I don’t care about all the promises this plan offered.

All I care about is that it envisioned 4 bridges connecting this island to either Manhattan or Queens. Under the plan there would have been “four broad bridges modeled after the Ponte Vecchio in Florence and containing along their length shops, hotels, banks, theaters and restaurants”.

As we all know the Kahn plan was not to be and the State went with the plan proposed in October 1969 by Ed Logue of the Urban Development Corporation.

But why did they think one bridge was enough. Couldn’t they foresee that having only one means of “natural” egress would not be enough.

We will never have more than we have now bridge-wise but a blogger can dream can’t he? And did I mention that the Northernmost of the planned bridges would have exited into the parking lot of what is now Costco in Long Island City. That would have been sweet.

Map Source:
New York Times “Think Tank Director Proposes $2 Billion Plan to Develop Welfare Island as “City of the Future”” July 10, 1969

1 comment:

  1. the plan was doomed on at least one count - there are NEVER going to be any bridges across the west channel of the east river. none. not even a pedestrian bridge. you'd need an elevator to get cars and people high enough to allow river traffic below and still have the bridge approach be on RI.

    but notice how they planned 1 bridge for every 35,000 residents? hey, that's what we'll end up with! visionaries, i tells ya...

    i'd settle for the rebuilding of the hallet's cove ferry landing (just off the bend where main street cuts west at the octagon). i could make a fortune ferrying people to costco in a rowboat.