Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge

Bridge in Queens, New York

The Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge (originally Cross Bay Bridge or Cross Bay Parkway Bridge) is a toll bridge that carries Cross Bay Boulevard across Jamaica Bay in Queens, New York City, between Broad Channel and the Rockaway Peninsula.[2]



Planning for a bridge across Jamaica Bay, connecting Howard Beach with Rockaway Beach via Beach Channel, had begun by 1917.[3] Construction began in 1923.[4][5] The bridge was intended to save travel time for people in Manhattan traveling to the Rockaways.[4] The bridge was designed by the engineering firm of Madigan-Hyland. Contractor J. Rich Steers, Inc., built the bridge for the New York City Parkway Authority, which was later merged into the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority.[6][7] The bridge was a part of a program to develop Jamaica Bay as a recreational area instead of an industrial port. The bridge opened in 1925, at a cost of $7 million (equivalent to $84 million in 2020).[8]

The original bridge was intended to sufficiently handle traffic for many years to come, but by 1929 it was already becoming overly congested.[9] The bridge was replaced with a newer, low-level bascule bridge in the same location that was opened on June 3, 1939, at a cost of $33 million (equivalent to $327 million in 2020).[6][7][10] It consisted of a widened version of the previous drawbridge, and a grade-separated interchange complex feeding into Beach Channel Drive and the Cross Bay Parkway. The Cross Bay Parkway was extended south along Beach 94th Street and Beach 95th Street to the Shore Front Parkway along Rockaway Beach.[7] Following its completion, Harry Taylor, head of the New York City Parkway Authority, said it had “transformed the old-time beach resort of blighted shacks, cheap amusements and limited play space into a modern playground of the type and character of Jones Beach.”[11]

The bridge was reconstructed at a cost of $26 million (equivalent to $136 million in 2020) and opened to traffic on May 28, 1970. The current bridge is a high-level fixed bridge carrying six traffic lanes and a sidewalk on the west side.[12] The bridge was built 55 feet (17 m) high in order to allow boats pass under without the delays caused by the previous drawbridge.[13] The bridge is operated by the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, an affiliate agency of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

As of April 11, 2021, drivers pay $5.09 per car or $4.28 per motorcycle for tolls by mail/non-NYCSC E-Z Pass. E ZPass users with transponders issued by the New York E ZPass Customer Service Center pay $2.45 per car or $2.05 per motorcycle. Mid-Tier NYCSC E-Z Pass users pay $3.77 per car or $3.17 per motorcycle.[14]

Until 2010, residents of the Rockaways and Broad Channel could cross the bridge for free. Residents of Broad Channel and the Rockaways who have an E-ZPass pay $1.19 per crossing if they cross up to twice per day, but are not charged if they cross more than twice in 24 hours. The new toll for area residents was part of a series of Metropolitan Transportation Authority budget cuts.[2][15]

Open-road cashless tolling began on April 30, 2017. The tollbooths were dismantled, and drivers are no longer able to pay with cash or tokens at the bridge. Instead, there are cameras mounted onto new overhead gantries near where the booths were located.[16][17] A vehicle without E-ZPass has a picture taken of its license plate and a bill for the toll is mailed to its owner.[18] For E-ZPass users, sensors detect their transponders wirelessly.[16][17][18] Residents with leftover bridge tokens were eligible to redeem their tokens for a refund through the E-ZPass Customer Service prior to April 29, 2017.[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ “New York City Bridge Traffic Volumes” (PDF). New York City Department of Transportation. 2016. p. 11. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Santos, Fernanda (April 9, 2010). “For Whom the Bridge Toll Ends a Trip That’s Free”. The New York Times. Retrieved April 10, 2010. There is another crossing on the northern end of Broad Channel, the Joseph P. Addabbo Memorial Bridge, which connects the island to the Howard Beach section of Queens
  3. ^ “Cross Bay Boulevard; Rockaway Property Owners Want Work Hurried”. The New York Times. October 7, 1917. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 12, 2020.
  4. ^ a b “Cross-Bay Bridge Almost Completed”. Brooklyn Standard Union. September 10, 1923. p. 3. Retrieved July 12, 2020 – via open access.
  5. ^ “Plan to Build Boulevard Across Jamaica Bay Before Board of Estimate”. The New York Times. June 16, 1918. p. R92. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 13, 2020.
  6. ^ a b “Rockaway: Another Link”. The New York Times. June 3, 1939. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 12, 2020.
  7. ^ a b c “New Shorefront Parkway In Rockaways Opened; $12,000,000 Bay Parkway Thrown Open”. Long Island Daily Press. June 3, 1939. pp. 1, 2 – via
  8. ^ “Bridge Opening Set”. New York Daily News. October 2, 1925. p. 2. Retrieved July 12, 2020 – via open access.
  9. ^ “1,000 More City Workers Added to 27,000 Listed For Pay Increases To-Day: Whalen Asks Cross-Bay Bridge”. Brooklyn Standard Union. June 27, 1929. p. 3. Retrieved July 12, 2020 – via open access.
  10. ^ “Rockaways Strut for Beauty Doctor Moses”. New York Daily News. June 3, 1939. p. 6. Retrieved July 12, 2020 – via open access.
  11. ^ “Parkway Finished in the Rockaways”. The New York Times. June 3, 1939. p. 12. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 13, 2020.
  12. ^ Fowle, Farnsworth (May 29, 1970). “Cross Bay Parkway Bridge Is Dedicated”. The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 12, 2020.
  13. ^ Rabin, Bernard (May 29, 1970). “Quip on Old Draw, The Gov Dedicates ‘Finest’ Span on L.I.” New York Daily News. p. 256. Retrieved July 12, 2020 – via open access.
  14. ^ Guse, Clayton (February 18, 2021). “MTA jacking up tolls 7% across-the-board on New York City bridges and tunnels”. New York Daily News. Retrieved March 14, 2021.
  15. ^ “Cross Bay Bridge Toll Rebate Change July 23”. MTA Bridges and Tunnels. Retrieved August 24, 2010.[permanent dead link]
  16. ^ a b Siff, Andrew (October 5, 2016). “Automatic Tolls to Replace Gates at 9 NYC Spans: Cuomo”. NBC New York. Retrieved December 25, 2016.
  17. ^ a b “MTA rolls out cashless toll schedule for bridges, tunnels”. ABC7 New York. December 21, 2016. Retrieved December 25, 2016.
  18. ^ a b “What Is Cashless Tolling?”. MTA Bridges & Tunnels. Retrieved September 1, 2019.
  19. ^ Schapiro, Rich (April 30, 2017). “Gov. Cuomo: Rockaway bridges no longer take cash and metal tokens”. New York Daily News. Retrieved June 26, 2018.

External links[edit]

Media related to Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge at Wikimedia Commons