The Pelham Bay Bridge is a four-lane bascule bridge that carries vehicular and pedestrian traffic over where the Hutchinson River and Eastchester Bay meet. It connects one part of Pelham Bay Park with another and further provides one of the means by which residents of, and visitors to, City Island can get to the Pelham Bay neighborhood and vice versa.
The Pelham Bay Bridge replaced an older bridge that had been erected near the site. That span was in such disrepair that maintaining it was very costly with construction almost a constant.
There were some difficulties encountered in the course of the construction and completion of the Pelham Bay Bridge. The water main that supplied City Island residents and all of Pelham Bay Park, East of the Hutchinson River, crossed under the stream at the site of the new span. This supply was interrupted when construction began. The city made arrangements with the New Rochelle Water Company at a cost of $5,323.93 to provide water to those areas temporarily.
The old bridge remained open to traffic while construction on the new one proceeded. To save the increasing costs of repairing that bridge, the new one was opened to traffic when it was safe to do so and before it was fully completed. The old span stayed in place because the city did not appropriate the money to remove it, despite the fact that the federal government, which controls navigable waterways, stipulated that all parts of the old span, except those that formed the approach roads to the new bridge, had to be destroyed.
After the main part of the bridge and its approaches were completed on February 17th, 1909, another contract was awarded for building the towers, installing the electrical equipment and machinery and furnishing the ornamental work. Work on these aspects of the bridge began on October 4th, 1910, and was completed on December 23rd, 1911.
The city held back on removing the old bridge till 1911, when the federal government indicated it would deep end the Hutchinson River channel and remove the ledge of rock on the site of the original span. Work began on removing the old bridge on September 1st, 1911, and was completed July 25th, 1912, at a cost of $10,352.44.
By then, the McAdamized pavement of the approaches to the Pelham Bridge were worn out, and they were repaved with asphalt. The repaving work began on November 15th, 1912, and was completed December 16th of that same year at a cost of $6,310.36. With this, the Pelham Bay Bridge and its approaches took on the aspect it retains to this day.