UPDATE, 4:34 p.m.: The City Council passed a proposal 38-12 to rename the Queensboro Bridge as the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge.
Sign replacements for the structure will be paid for through private donations, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.
"Ed Koch led our city back from the brink of ruin and put the building blocks in place to make New York City what it is today," the mayor said.
The City Council is expected to vote today to rename the Queensboro Bridge after former Mayor Ed Koch, but at least one of northeast Queens’ Council members said he is against the proposal.
The Council’s Parks Committee voted in favor of the proposal yesterday and the full legislative body was expected to cast votes today to rename the bridge, which spans the East River and connects Long Island City to Manhattan.
Councilman Dan Halloran, R-Whitestone, is among the members of the Queens delegation who say they do not support changing the bridge’s name.
“Brooklyn has the Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan has the Manhattan Bridge,” he said. “Queens has, and should always have, the Queensboro Bridge. This bridge is an icon of a borough that is all too often ignored and marginalized. To change its name would be an eternal slap in the face of Queens.”
Halloran said he admires Koch, who served as New York City’s mayor from 1978 to 1989. But he said the Council should not rename bridges this year.
“We’re in the middle of a recession,” he said this morning. “We spent over $100,000 changing signs for the RFK Bridge three years ago and now we might burn even more money renaming the Queensboro Bridge today.”
Other Council members from the borough, including Jimmy Van Bramer, D-Sunnyside, and Peter Vallone Jr., D-Astoria, have also said they believe the city should pay tribute to Koch, but that the bridge’s name provides a sense of identity for Queens residents.