Saturday, April 23, 2011

Bridge of the Week #57: Flushing Bridge

This week's bridge, the Flushing Bridge, is one that can be hard to find, and is nothing too amazing in and of itself, but it can be a nice connector if going on a long run through Queens.

The Flushing Bridge carries Northern Boulevard over Flushing River between Willets Point and Flushing, Queens. The bridge is very close to the Whitestone Expressway/Van Wyck Expressway intersection (really just an extension of the same expressway), and the Grand Central Parkway is not too far to the west, and there are a lot of onramps and offramps for Northern Boulevard as well, all on the western side of the bridge. But there is also a nice pedestrian/bike path along the edge of Flushing Bay that runs from just east of LaGuardia Airport to the mouth of the Flushing River which is actually a part of Flushing Meadows Corona Park. But this pathway ends on the east at a rather foreboding unnamed one-way road (westbound) with a crumbling sidewalk that passes by heavy industrial areas and carries heavy traffic, including truck traffic, either coming straight off westbound Northern Boulevard or going from the Van Wyck to westbound Northern Boulevard. But the road is at least wide enough to avoid putting yourself in any real danger, and within about a quarter mile you will see on the right the pedestrian entrance to the bridge. The eastern end of the bridge is much easier, with easy access at the northwestern corner of Prince St. and Northern Boulevard. From there you can continue on to College Point or any of the other northeastern Queens neighborhoods bypassing the busier Roosevelt Ave to the south. From the Flushing Bay path, of course, you can also get to Citi Field and the rest of Flushing Meadows, although the area between the stadium and the bay is not the most pedestrian-friendly, either.

*Addition/correction: I originally called this the Northern Boulevard Bridge, simply because it was on Northern Boulevard, and I didn't see any name to the contrary. But just after posting this, I found a reliable source that called this the Flushing Bridge. Furthermore, I've discovered that there have been a few bridges on this site dating back to the 19th century. A drawbridge built in 1906, replaced by another drawbridge in the 1930's, and finally replaced by the current higher bridge which opened in October 1980. Northern Boulevard, by the way, was originally called Jackson Ave., and now only the very western end of the street retains the name Jackson Ave.

Pics: 1. View of downtown Flushing from the bridge; 2. The Flushing River; 3. A concrete plant (apparently) on the east bank of the river.

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