Marine Parkway – Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge: August 27, 2013

The Marine Parkway – Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge connects Brooklyn to The Rockaways, in Queens.   The bridge is at the end of Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn and crosses Jamaica Bay.  This was a late afternoon/sunset  crossing.  There was no time to check the area in Rockaway before heading back across the bridge.   I will have to visit the area at a later time.

Flatbush Avenue runs north-south from the Manhattan  Bridge to the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge.  Most of Flatbush Ave is commercial going through several neighborhoods along the way.  Near the north end, not too far from the Manhattan Bridge,  is the Brooklyn terminal of the Long Island Railroad.  Across Atlantic Avenue from the LIRR is the newly opened Barclays Center sports and entertainment complex.

Further down is Grand Army Plaza  which is at the north end of Prospect Park.  Also in this area and the Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Museum, Prospect Park Zoo, and the Brooklyn Botanical Garden.

South of the Belt Parkway is a stretch of recreational facilities including a golf driving range, a marina and Aviator Sports Center in Floyd Bennett Field.  Floyd Bennett Field is an old air field that is now part of the Gateway National Recreation Area.

Floyd Bennett Field has several family programs available.   There are camping sites, fishing, a boat ramp for small craft.  There are family camping sites and group camping sites for non-profit groups.  There is also a school camping program during the school year.  Teachers and staff must take a training course before being able to participate in this program.  While teaching, I took students there for at least 10 years.

The North Forty is a woodland area that has a hiking trail and Return–Gift pond.  There is also a trail on the west side of Flatbush Avenue to Dead Horse Bay  This is a good area to go bird watching for migrating birds.

The Ryan Center, which has undergone an extensive renovation, now serves as the Administration Building

Hanger B is a large hanger that houses and restores old airplanes.  It is open 3 days a week.


We parked at Floyd Bennett Field and then walked to The Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge which is just beyond the park’s entrance.

Toll plazaToll plaza

Deborah at toll plazaDeborah at toll plaza

Valerie at Bridge toll plazaValerie at toll plaza

We parked the car in the parking lot in Floyd Bennett Field and then walked to the bridge entrance.

Deborah, Renee & Henry at entrance to bridge pedestrian walkwayDeborah Renee & Henry get ready to cross bridge

There are signs posted that bicycles must be walked across the pedestrian walkway.

Riding prohibited!“Riding prohibited”

Of the several bicycles that crossed, only one cyclist was walking.  We had to be constantly on the lookout for fast moving bicycles.

As we began, the sun was already beginning to set.

Setting sunJamaica Bay


It was very cloudy with a slight comfortable breeze and rain was threatening.   We saw kayakers and small motor boaters fishing near the bridge.

Fishing from kayakFishing from kayak

Renee waving to kayakerRenee waving to kayaker

Valerie, Renee and Henry

Valerie, Renee and Henry



The intricate structures of the bridges are fascinating to see!


Appropriate Warning!Good advice!

Stairs to control roomStairs to control room

Car traffic with Floyd Bennett Field in the distanceRoadway with Floyd Bennett Field in the distance


imageBridge tower

Jacob Riis Park, just at the foot of the bridge,  Ft. Tilden and Breezy Point Tip, are part of the Gateway National Recreation Area.  Also at this end of the peninsula is the neighborhood of Breezy Point.  Breezy Point sustained massive damages during Hurricane Sandy on October 28, 2012.

Signs directing you to Riis Park, Far Rockaways & Breezy PointSigns to the Rockaways

We enjoyed some time on the Rockaway shore of Jamaica Bay before the return walk across the bridge.

Valerie, Renee & Henry along the Rockaways shore of Jamaica BayValerie, Renee & Henry on the Rockaway shore

imageValerie & Henry


A luxury cruiser passed under the bridge while we were on the shore.  The returning channel was nearer to the northern bank.

Signs directing traffic to Brooklyn or to the beachBridge approach to Brooklyn

Renee still full of energy on the way backRenee was still full of energy on the return trip

imageToll plaza at dusk

The weather held out for us this day.  As soon as we got back to the car, it began to rain!

Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge:

Type:  Vertical lift

Length:  4022 ft / 1225.9 m

Longest span:  540 f / 164.6 m

Crosses:  Jamaica Bay

Connects:  Brooklyn to Rockaway, Queens

Opened:  July 3, 1937

Carries:  Two lanes each way of vehicle traffic and one pedestrian walkway on the western side


2 thoughts on “Marine Parkway – Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge: August 27, 2013

  1. Very interesting post! As a teenager living in Arverne (a district on the Rockaway penisula) we (some freinds & myself) rode our bikes all the way to “Breezy Point” in 1972 and in 1974, staring from “Rockaways Playland” (where i worked as a “skee ball” operator), we rode our “Peugeot ten speeds” over the “Cross Bay Bridge”, “North Channel Bridge”, “Tri
    Borough Bridge” & George Washington Bridge” enroute to “Bear Moutain State Park’ (via 9W) , On June 1st of this year, my pastor & I went to the “Red Hawk Nations Pow Wow” at Floyd Bennet Field and explored the different runways and “urban camp grounds” available to use

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