Mar 06 2013

Long Island Motor Parkway Bridge Series #31: The “Mayan Ruins” Motor Parkway Bridge in Garden City

The 31st bridge in the series documenting the 60 bridges built by the Long Island Motor Parkway is the amazing "Mayan Ruins" Bridge in Garden City. A favorite of the Long Island Motor Parkway Preservation Society, I believe it is unique as the only Motor Parkway bridge in which construction was begun but never completed.


Howard Kroplick

1907 Survey

This survey showed the Garden City land bought by the Motor Parkway from the heirs of A.T. Stewart through their Garden City Company. Note that the land owned by the Garden City Company was both east and west of the Motor Parkway. It was common practice that as part of the purchase agreement of divided land, the Long Island Motor Parkway, Inc. was required to build a bridge to connect the land or if a future cross-road was planned.

Motor Parkway Bridge Schematic

An engineering schematic of a Motor Parkway "highway" bridge similar to this Garden City bridge where the Motor Parkway went below the planned intersecting road.

Garden City Road Plan

This was the proposed subdivision of the Garden City Company property. Note the planned road crossing the Motor Parkway which would require a bridge. After building the parkway in this area in 1909 and the two abutments, construction of the bridge was halted when plans were changed and the intersecting road was never built.

April 19, 1928 Accident (Courtesy of the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum)

My favorite co-author Al Velocci found this accident report and photos in the archives of the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum. Looking north, the photo shows the road clearly below grade with concrete posts above the Motor Parkway. Also note the people on the left at the accident scene and the motorcycle on the right..

This second image shows the opposite view looking south on the Motor Parkway. Eureka: There are two abutments of an unfinished bridge. Note the motorcycle on the left which was owned by Motor Parkway patrolman Thomas Zinzi.

The accident documented that a car overturned at the "open bridge west of Garden City" on August 19, 1928 involving Patrick Kelly. His Erskine sedan lost a tire at the bridge and overturned. A passing car took Kelly and a woman passenger to Flushing Hospital to be treated for their unknown injuries. The report was written by Thomas Zinzi who was the first motorcycle patrolman for the Motor Parkway.

1938 Aerials

Due to its proximity to Roosevelt Field, several aerial views of the bridge exist.

1940 Aerial (Courtesy of Cradle of Aviation)

1950 Aerial

2008 Images

The top of the bridge abutments are still visible and appear to be retaining walls. The below-grade section of the Motor Parkway has been completely filled in. Remember that the bridge is on private property, please respect the homeowners' privacy.

2010 Images

2016 Images (Submitted by Dave and Sam Russo)


Mar 21 2013 Tom 10:13 PM

Love the then and now photos.  I like to look closely and compare.

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