29 April 2017

Review Of A New Bridge

No one will ever confuse Review Avenue in Long Island City with Route Departmentale 618 or the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito and Tiburon.  

I had only one opportunity to do RD 618 and one other for the iconic California ride because, well, each of them is about 6000 kilometers away (in opposite directions) from my apartment.  Review Avenue, on the other hand, is only about five kilometers away (at least via the routes I take), which is one of the reasons I find myself riding there at least a few times a year.

Although it's gritty, to be polite, it is visually interesting.  There aren't any really tall buildings there, which allows the sky to serve as a kind of diorama backdrop for the street that separates the First Calvary Cemetery Wall from the sooty brick and stone industrial structures.  That same street also looks as if it's going to sneak in under the Kosciuszko Bridge, but it makes a sharp left and leaves that job to the railroad tracks and Newtown Creek instead.

Until a few days ago, the Kosciuszko Bridge was the steel-girdered span that looks like an Erector Set project left out in the rain and soot.  It still is, but it's also that other bridge that looks like it's hanging by red and white shoestrings from a couple of concrete tombstones.  

Talk about "build it and they will come":  The new Kosciuszko is already congested with traffic--and the old bridge hasn't been closed!  A second stringed structure is supposed to be constructed parallel to the current one in two years.  I think cars are already lined up to get across it.

Actually, I rather like the look of the new bridge.  And it's probably easier to drive, especially a truck, across as it doesn't have the old bridge's steep inclines and terrible sight lines.  At the dedication ceremony, Governor Andrew Cuomo said he heard his father--three-term Governor Mario Cuomo--use expletives for the first time when he drove the family across the bridge.

Neither bicycles nor pedestrians were allowed on the old "Kos".  As far as I know, they won't be allowed on the new ones, either.  Then again, the bridges are part of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, where you wouldn't want to ride even if it were allowed!

The old bridge is falling apart.  But some things endure:

I wonder what Joe was thinking when he painted his name on the wall of the cemetery all of those years ago. (Maybe he's inside it now!) I'd love to know what kind of paint he used:  Anything that could withstand all of the fumes from the factories and trucks, along with the weather, must be pretty durable!

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