Rikers Island Bridge

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Rikers Island Bridge
Coordinates40°46′55″N 73°53′18″W / 40.78194°N 73.88833°W / 40.78194; -73.88833Coordinates: 40°46′55″N 73°53′18″W / 40.78194°N 73.88833°W / 40.78194; -73.88833
Carries3 lanes of roadway and 1 sidewalk
CrossesEast River (Rikers Island Channel) and Bowery Bay
LocaleRikers Island and Queens in New York City
DesignConcrete Girder Bridge
Total length4,200 feet (1,280 m)
Clearance below52 ft
OpenedNovember 22, 1966
Daily traffic14,817 (2016)[1]
Rikers Island Bridge is located in New York City
Rikers Island Bridge
Location in New York City

Rikers Island Bridge (officially named Francis R. Buono Memorial Bridge) is a girder bridge that connects Rikers Island in the borough of the Bronx with the borough of Queens in New York City. The bridge begins in the Steinway neighborhood of Queens near the intersection of Hazen Street and 19th Avenue and continues to the south side of Rikers Island.

The Rikers Island Bridge is the sole route to the island for vehicular traffic. Before the bridge opened in 1966, access to Rikers Island was by ferry only. The bridge is a fixed low-level span built with concrete and steel. At its center, the bridge has a 52-foot rise allowing clearance for vessels passing beneath the structure.[2]

The bridge crosses the Rikers Island Channel of the East River and Bowery Bay. It is located near LaGuardia Airport and crosses over the approach light pier to Runway 13.[3]

On May 25, 1978, the bridge was named for the late Supervising Warden Francis R. Buono, who directed its construction.[4] In August 1990, during a labor conflict with then New York City mayor David Dinkins, guards responded to a breakdown in negotiations by barricading access to the bridge.[5]

The Q100 MTA Bus route operates across the Rikers Island Bridge and provides service to the Rikers Island Visitor Center.

This bridge has been referenced in the song "Bridge of Pain" by Flavor Flav.


  1. ^ "New York City Bridge Traffic Volumes" (PDF). New York City Department of Transportation. 2016. p. 10. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  2. ^ "Rikers Island Bridge Opened". Correction Sidelights. New York City Department of Correction. Spring 1967. Retrieved August 15, 2009.
  3. ^ Chart 12339 (Map). 1 : 10,000. NOAA. June 1, 2008. Retrieved August 15, 2009.
  4. ^ "Francis R. Buono Memorial Bridge Dedicated". The Pen. New York City Department of Correction. June 1978. Retrieved August 15, 2009.
  5. ^ Levine, Richard (August 16, 1990). "Critics Say Dinkins Miscalculated Guards' Anger". The New York Times. Retrieved August 15, 2009.

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