Throgs Neck Bridge

Transportation Nation

SLIDESHOW: Baby Falcons Nest High Above New York City

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

360-degree panoramic views, no board approval, occasional visits from the landlord: dozens of peregrine falcon chicks are living the high life in New York City.

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Transportation Nation

Falcon Chicks Born on NYC Bridges

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

There's traffic of a different sort atop three New York City bridges these days.

New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority sent out a birth announcement of sorts to report that there are now nine baby peregrine falcons atop three MTA-operated bridges.

Two females, named Rose and Sunset, hatched atop the 693-foot Brooklyn tower at the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge:

Rose and Sunset in their nest atop the Verrazano Narrows Bridge (photo by Patrick Cashin/MTA)

Three males, named Locust, Edgewater and Bayside, were born 360-feet atop the Bronx tower at the Throgs Neck Bridge:

Locust (with open beak), Edgewater and Bayside, named for communities near the Throgs Neck (photo by Carlton Cyrus/MTA)

And Floyd, Rocky, Marine and Breezy were born inside a World War II gun turret 215-feet up on the Rockaway (Queens) tower of the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge:

Two of the four new Marine Parkway chicks with nervous mama falcon in background (photo by Chris Nadareski/DEP)

The chicks were born in early May.

According to the New York State Department of Environment Conservation, peregrine falcons were nearly wiped out in the 1960s because of pesticide use. They remain on the state's endangered species list.  The birds have been nesting on New York City bridges since 1983, and the city's Department of Environmental Protection estimates that there are 16 pairs of peregrine falcons living here. City falcons are banded so they can be monitored by federal wildlife officials.

“It doesn’t cost the Authority anything to have the falcons nest here,” said Throgs Neck Maintenance Superintendent Carlton Cyrus. “We just give them some peace and quiet and during nesting season make sure that our contractors and maintenance workers don’t disturb them. This allows the chicks to hatch and gives them a greater opportunity for survival.”

To learn more about peregrine falcons, check out the NYS DEC's peregrine website -- as well as their live falcon webcams.

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Transportation Nation

Throgs Neck Bridge Turns 50: Moses Celebrates (Then, Not Now)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Aerial view of the Throgs Neck Bridge. Photographer unknown. (Courtesy of MTA Bridges and Tunnels Special Archive)

(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) New York City's Throgs Neck Bridge -- which the MTA calls "the first major bridge of the postwar era," officially turns 50 today.

So it's a good time to look at some history.

"Plans to build a new bridge to try and relieve traffic on its sister Bronx-Whitestone Bridge, two miles to the west, had been in the making for some 15 years," writes the MTA. Robert Moses, who was then the head of the Triborough Bridge Authority, conceived of the bridge as a way to relieve traffic on the Bronx Whitestone Bridge. (Which was built to relieve traffic on the Triborough Bridge -- now known as the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge.)

You can hear Moses talking about the need for the bridge in this piece of WNYC audio from the bridge's  October 1957 groundbreaking. (Audio is courtesy of the NYC Municipal/New York Public Radio Archives.)  Moses beings speaking about 15 minutes in.

The groundbreaking ceremony was held at the Queens Chamber of Commerce, and the speakers included Moses and a man named John Johnson, who was then the New York State Superintendent of Public Works.

Lest you think public protest against construction projects is a recent phenomenon, make sure you listen to the audio at about 11:45 minutes in, as Johnson bemoaned the difficulty of building large scale projects like highways and bridges.

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