Motorists will soon be taking Ed Koch to midtown.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced plans to rename the Queensboro Bridge after the iconic former mayor of New York City on Wednesday, December 8.
The renaming of the 101-year-old bridge, which crosses the East River from Long Island City to 59th Street in Manhattan, must be approved by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn; who is said to support the idea wholeheartedly.
Koch, who celebrates his 86th birthday on Sunday, December 12, served three terms as mayor of the city from 1978 to 1989 during times of both prosperity and struggles with crime and homelessness. Prior to his time as mayor, Koch served as a New York Congressmember; Queensboro Bridge crosses over into the district he represented.
Borough President Helen Marshall said that while Koch was a great mayor, she wasn’t sure if renaming the Queensboro Bridge in his honor was appropriate.
“I haven’t found one person who thinks this is a good idea,” said Marshall. “I think a lot of people have good feelings about the former mayor, but renaming a bridge is another story. We are going to watch this.”
The city plans to raise money privately to pay for road signs with the new names. The renaming of the Triborough Bridge, which became the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge in 2008, cost the city and state nearly $4 million for new signage.
Bloomberg also announced plans to rename the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel for former Governor Hugh Carey, who served from 1975 to 1982.
– With additional reporting by Bob Doda