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POWER OF MOSES

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The Triborough Bridge is turning 70 years old, and as a birthday present, it’s getting its own exhibit at the New York Transit Museum in Downtown Brooklyn.

Museum curator Robert Del Bagno worked on the exhibit for a year with Laura Rosen of the Department of Bridges and Tunnels to put together the history of the bridge from its original design plan in 1904 to what your car is driving over today. The exhibit studies the bridge from an architectural and engineering perspective.

"The Triborough Bridge was really the link that pulled all of the different highways together," Del Bagno said. "It created the system of highways that were being built as separate pieces, and joined them together. For the first time, people were able to drive their cars fast from place to place, which you couldn’t do on city streets. It was the beginning of the age of the automobile."

Manhattan, the Bronx and Queens were joined together by the three bridges, which is considered one of the greatest, most complex architectural achievements to come out of the Depression era.

Also featured in the exhibit is information on Robert Moses. The Triborough Bridge was the first of Moses’s seven bridges, which "solidified his power base, and served as a model for all of the bridges in New York to come afterwards," Del Bagno said.

"The Triborough Bridge: Robert Moses and the Automobile Age" opens on June 27 at The New York Transit Museum, at the corner of Boerum Place and Schermerhorn Street in Downtown Brooklyn. The museum is open Tuesday-Friday, from 10 am-4pm, and on weekends, from noon-5 pm. Closed Mondays. Admission is $5, $3 for seniors and children ages 17 years and younger. For more information, call (718) 694-1600 or visit www.mta.nyc.ny.us/mta/museum.

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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