The Triborough Bridge’s 13,829 feet of roadway viaduct, which runs over three steel bridges, spans the waters between Manhattan, the Bronx, and Queens. Edward A. Byrne, the chief engineer of the City Department of Plant and Structures, first announced plans for connecting the three boroughs in 1916, but the project did not receive funding until 1925. Construction of the bridge, designed by Othmar H. Ammann and architect Aymar Embury II, commenced on October 25, 1929, the “Black Friday” of the great stock market crash.
During the ensuing economic crisis, investors refused to purchase unstable municipal bonds, and all construction halted as the City found itself without adequate funds. Work on the bridge was at a standstill until 1932, when Robert Moses (1888-1981), serving as chairman of the State Emergency Public Works Commission, made it a top priority.