Photo by ©Mitch Waxman

 

Happy 79th Birthday Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge!

When the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge was built and opened in 1937, it was the longest vertical-lift bridge for vehicles in the world. 

Spanning Rockaway Inlet in Queens, the bridge has four vehicle lanes, and a pedestrian/bike path.

 

The center span between the two curved topped towers, which house the vertical-lift machinery, lifts 150 feet above the water to allow for vessel passage.

Photo by ©Mitch Waxman

 

Newtown Pentacle: If you mention a bridge and Flatbush Avenue together in the same sentence, odds are you mean the East River or Brooklyn Bridge. In the context of those of us who hail from Marine Park, Mill Basin, Bergen Beach, Canarsie, Flatlands, Sheepshead Bay, or Gerritsen Beach- the bridge on Flatbush Avenue we think of first is the “Marine Parkway- Gil Hodges Bridge”, which we always referred to as the Marine Park Bridge. 

There’s a great fishing spot under the bridge, due to a deep water channel dug out during the second world war designed to allow wounded shipping to limp into Mill Basin or Sheepshead Bay after crossing the war-torn Atlantic. The cold water flow, and perhaps the light filtering down from the bridge, encourages bluefish and snappers to congregate beneath the structure.

Photo by ©Mitch Waxman

 

According to official sources “Aymar Embury II, who was also the architect for MTA’s Triborough and Bronx Whitestone Bridges, was the architect. The Chief Engineers were Madigan-Hyland and Emil H. Praeger, and Robinson & Steinman and Waddell & Hardesty were Consulting Engineers“.

Happy Birthday to one of the beloved and iconic structures of the Rockaways.

 

posted by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee

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