Despite the bridge’s current difficulties and ragged environs, the structure has a novel feature that, for some, renders it an object of affection. The bridge sits on rails that allow the structure to roll open horizontally on wheels. It is one of only two such retractile bridges in the city and four in the nation. (The Carroll Street Bridge over the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn is the country’s oldest, and a designated landmark.)
“Even though it’s not the prettiest bridge, people find beauty in it,” said Sam Schwartz, a transportation consultant and the president of the city’s Bridge Centennial Commission, a nonprofit group whose mission is to celebrate six New York bridges that are about a century old. He described the bridge’s retractile feature as “very elegant.”
The Borden Avenue Bridge has not displayed its elegance much lately, however. Commercial marine traffic along Dutch Kills is highly diminished; the bridge last opened for a passing vessel in 2005.
A Humble Bridge With One Fetching Feature