Saturday, February 26, 2011

Bridge of the Week #49: Congressman Joesph P. Addabbo Bridge

Yes, make sure you put "Congressman" in there. This is the Congressman Joseph P. Addabbo Bridge, which carries Cross Bay Boulevard from 165th Ave. in Howard Beach over the Grassy Bay section of Jamaica Bay to Rulers Bar Hassock, or Broad Channel, on the way to the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge and the Rockaways.
This is a fixed girder bridge. Considering that it's a significant bridge, I'm surprised to have had such a hard time finding out specific information on it. I haven't found anywhere that gives its length, but it's roughly 3,000 feet long. It has a rise toward the center to allow boats to pass underneath that section. It replaces the old North Channel Bridge, and was built starting in 1988 and opened, I believe, in 1991. It was named for Joseph P. Addabbo, congressman from the area from 1961 to 1986.

This is a significant bridge for recreation in New York City. For runners, it's quite a ways out there from Manhattan, or even Brooklyn, but for a good long run it's an excellent place to go. On the Howard Beach side, there is some street running involved, but with little trouble you can connect to the Belt Parkway pathways. On the south, there is a rather long paved pathway along Rulers Bar Hassock that leads to Broad Channel, a small island neighborhood, still in Queens. The bridge, the hassock and the many surrounding small islands and wetlands fall within the Gateway National Recreation Area (which also includes areas in Brooklyn, Staten Island and New Jersey). From Broad Channel you can access the Cross Bay Veteran's Memorial Bridge to the Rockaways, and even return to Brooklyn on the Marine Parkway Bridge, both of which I'll discuss in later posts. Actually I should qualify my earlier comment that it's an excellent place to run, and exclude times when there's snow on the ground, as the bridge is apparently never cleared of snow and ice (see above pics). The day I ran across it several weeks ago, it was most unpleasant. Again, the things I do for you guys.

The bridge also received the "Best Bridge" award from Transportation Alternatives, a cycling advocacy group, for its three non-vehicular lanes on each side of the bridge! There is an on-road bike lane, a pedestrian sidewalk which is separated by a concrete barrier, and a fishing area on the outside, separated from the sidewalk by a high chain-link fence. While the bridge receives high marks for its attention to such recreation, apparently there are a lot of complaints about fishermen (and women) leaving a lot of trash behind, even throwing trash and fish and crab parts onto the sidewalk and roadway. One blogger mentions seagulls landing on the roadway to pick up fish parts, only to meet their demise in traffic, which does damage to cars as well. I have no doubt there is a lot of trash underneath all that snow. Other forms of misbehavior on the bridge, including vandalism, have been attributed to the fishermen as well. But, in any case, sidewalks are easily accessed on either side.

And most of the time, it is a good place to run. If you don't want to run there all the way from your house, you can take the A train to the Howard Beach/JFK Airport stop (the airport is just across the bay to the east), go north to 157th Ave. and west to Cross Bay Boulevard, then south to the bridge. There is also an A train stop in Broad Channel and several in the Rockaways. The A train takes a separate bridge across the bay, and it is a very pleasant ride in itself.

No comments:

Post a Comment