Jan 19 2016

Inside the Wheeler Farmway Bridge #1: 1990s, 2008 and 2016

Of the 60 Motor Parkway bridges documented on the website,  one of the eight still standing bridges is unseen by 99.5% of the people who walk and ride on it- the Wheeler Farmway Bridge #1 in Queens. Three brave Motor Parkway buffs have ventured inside this virtually inaccessible bridge. Here's their stories and photos.

Warning: Please do not attempt  to repeat these explorations!


Howard Kroplick

1990s: Bob Miller

This Wheeler Farmway Bridge, located near 226th Street, was originally documented over 20 years ago by the prominent Motor Parkway historian Bob Miller who noted: "I crawled inside the underpass/overpass several years ago and took some prints of the abutments—you can see 1911 cast into them—somewhat lime-encrusted, but legible. There’s also one of the tubular metal railings which adorned the top of the bridge on the side, which has tossed under when it rotted off its uprights. "

1924 aerial showing the bridge east of Springfield Boulevard

2009: Art Kleiner

As posted on his Motor Parkway website, Art Kleiner journeyed into the bridge in 2009.

"Climbing down the south side of the roadway through some assorted foliage and litter, I slithered into the opening and found a refuge of bottles, cups, sludge, and other signs of life in 2009. "

"The bridge was built in 1911 as shown on the walls underneath."

 "And here's one parting shot looking out from underneath - that's my friend Gary's legs in the opening. This journey, that actually took me under the Motor Parkway, was an interesting adventure to say the least."

2016: Dave Russo

This month Dave Russo (the dad in Sam & Dave's Excellent Motor Parkway Adventure) documented his adventure into the bridge.

  "The Wheeler Farmway Bridge #1 peeked my interest. As you can tell by now the whole "ruins" thing gets me going.  It's raining. It's cold. I locate it easily (never saw it before but who knew....)  Did I go in? Of course I went in! "

"Once you get past the (very) small entryway and you get under there you can actually stand up and walk around. "

"You can just about make out the 1911."


Jan 21 2016 frank femenias 11:38 AM

A chance of a lifetime. A century’s old ghost room, co-existing quietly in another dimension. Definitely something I’d like to witness and experience someday before the parks department gets wise and permanently seals it off.

Jan 21 2016 Dave Russo 8:27 PM

As I was on my back teetering forward into the small opening an overwhelming fear came over me. Something told me—you idiot….there are definitely going to be homeless people living in here and what are you going to do when you emerge from this tiny opening and are just a sitting duck for a beating/robbery. It really would be a perfect spot for a homeless person to live! It’s funny now but it wasn’t funny at the time! I would advise you to bring someone with you if you want to go and check this out.

It really is a cool thing to see. Hundreds of people walk/ride/run over this bridge every day and nobody knows what it is.

Jan 24 2016 Eddie Murray 6:58 PM

What a great hidden treasure under a busy path.

Jan 24 2016 S. Berliner, III 9:04 PM

I have a good bit on this from 2008 (with Ed Murray) on my Queens page 3 at <http://sbiii.com/limp-qn3.html#wheeler>.  The thumbnails look blurred now so click on them for good pix.  There were definitely unmistakable signs of homeless tenancy back then.  Sam, III

Jan 25 2016 Roger A. Price 9:27 AM

It’s absolutely incredible that this bridge was “hiding” in plain sight.  What a find!!!
Thanks for the terrific photos.

Feb 01 2016 Tom 9:37 PM

It sure is an explorer’s delight, but always go with a friend (or two).

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