New York, NY -- During his annual State of the State address in Albany before
the New York State Legislature on Wednesday, Governor Eliot Spitzer plans to
announce his proposal for the Triborough Bridge to be renamed the Robert F.
"Robert F. Kennedy was a man whose life and career were devoted to building an
America in which people of wealth matched their privilege with compassion," said
Governor Spitzer. "His dream was an America in which all individuals work
diligently to help the poorest among us to lift themselves out of poverty.
Metaphorically, Robert F. Kennedy was a bridge builder. As such, it is my
distinct honor today to redesignate the Triborough Bridge as the Robert F.
Kennedy Bridge in tribute to this noble and unforgettable New Yorker."
The bridge would become the first major public work dedicated to Senator Robert F. Kennedy in New York State, where he served as U.S. Senator from 1965-1968.
"This is a tremendous honor. Our family is overjoyed," said Ethel Kennedy. "I
love that the city he knew and cared about returns his devotion. Our family is
enormously grateful for this glorious celebration of his life."
"Robert Kennedy loved New York, he grew up there and considered it his home,
dedicating much of his final years to improving the quality of life for its most
vulnerable citizens" said his son, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr, top environmental
lawyer and advocate. "He would be humbled by the symbolism of the structure
bearing his name."
The Triborough Bridge is located on Interstate 278 and is operated by the State
of New York's Metropolitan Transit Authority. Opened in 1936, the facility now
consists of three bridges, a viaduct, and 14 miles of approach roads connecting
Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx. The bridge serves as a well traveled connection for those heading to destinations in New York City, Long Island and
Upstate New York.
"It's a magnificent tribute to Bobby. He believed very deeply that people can
change the world when they work together to overcome their differences, end
injustice, and achieve a brighter future. Bridging divides was his passion, and
renaming the historic Triborough Bridge in his honor is a wonderful legacy,"
said Senator Edward M. Kennedy.
"Robert F. Kennedy spent his life bridging divides between rich and poor, black
and white, old and young and renaming the Triborough Bridge would stand as a
deeply moving and appropriate tribute to his efforts," said Kerry Kennedy,
human rights advocate, author and daughter of Robert Kennedy and founder of the
Robert F. Kennedy Center for Human Rights.
While representing New York, Senator Kennedy initiated numerous projects for the
state's residents, including assistance to underprivileged children and students
with disabilities and the establishment of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation to improve living conditions and employment
opportunities for residents in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn.
The cutting-edge program became a model for urban renewal and community
development across the nation.
"Robert Kennedy spent his life fighting for equality and justice," said Mayor
Michael R. Bloomberg. "Naming a bridge that connects so many New Yorkers and
New York Communities to each other is certainly a fitting and appropriate
tribute to such a singular public servant."
Founded in 1968, the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial to further RFK's work, it is
dedicated to advancing and protecting human rights world-wide. Through
long-term partnerships and cutting edge methods, the RFK Memorial assists
grassroots defenders from around the globe who have won the RFK Human Rights
Award. Through Speak Truth to Power, RFK Memorial educates the public on the
value of the human rights and the courage of its defenders. The RFK Book and
Journalism Awards support investigative journalists and authors who bring light to injustice.
Source: Robert F. Kennedy Memorial