How did people cross the Newtown Creek before the Kosciuszko Bridge? Here is the Penny Bridge (c. 1910), which the Kosciuszko replaced in 1939. It got its name, the story goes, from the 1-cent toll that was charged to cross between Maspeth and Greenpoint. The bridge sat above the site of a ferry begun in the 17th century by Humphrey Clay, an associate of Captain Kidd--pirates on the Newtown Creek?! Did the bridge have to go when the KB opened? No, according to the great NY Streets page on the Newtown Creek. That was another of Robert Moses' dubious decisions. The bridge might have remained to this day as a pedestrian and bike crossing. Had it done so, it's easy to speculate, the banks of the Newtown, rather than the Gowanus, might have become the next "New Soho."