THE Thomson Avenue Bridge was created in the late 19-oughts, along with the remainder of the Sunnyside Yards railroad complex. The entire complex is a vast open space, covered only by air, and developers are hungrily eyeing it so it can be decked over with supertall glassy residential towers, as was done with the Penn Railroad yards in Midtown West to create the Hudson Yards complex, one of the more egregious white elephants in the architectural landscape these days.
Thomason Avenue is relatively short and runs from Jackson Avenue and 44th Drive, spanning the yards (as does Queens Boulevard, Honeywell and 39th Streets). Motor traffic can access ramps to the Queensboro Bridge atop the railroad complex. Thomson Avenue’s eastern end is home to LaGuardia Community College.
In the 1800s, Thomson Avenue ran all the way to Elmhurst, but after the Queensboro Bridge was opened and a few years later the Flushing Line Viaduct was built, the section between Sunnyside and Broadway/Grand Avenue was absorbed into Queens Boulevard, which was widened into today’s behemoth and became the pedal to the metal Boulevard of Death after its trolley tracks were finally pulled up and discarded.
The Thomson Avenue bridge over the Yards is unique, as it boasts a protective canopy to keep rain and snow off the heads of its pedestrian traffic. (On the Queens Boulevard Sunnyside Yards bridge, the elevated #7 train does the same trick.) The canopy is relatively recent; I’d date it to the 1980s, but if I’m wrong… Comments are open.