The Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge is an iconic suspension bridge that spans the entrance to New York Harbor, connecting the boroughs of Staten Island and Brooklyn in New York City, United States. Here's a brief history of the bridge:
Proposal and Planning:The idea for a bridge connecting Staten Island and Brooklyn was first proposed in the early 20th century. However, it wasn't until the 1950s that serious planning and consideration began. The bridge was envisioned as a vital link between the two boroughs and as a means to alleviate traffic congestion.
Design and Construction:The construction of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge started on August 14, 1959. It was named after the Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano, who was the first European to sail into New York Harbor in 1524. The design was created by civil engineer Othmar Ammann and his team at the firm Ammann & Whitney. The bridge's main span, which measures 4,260 feet (1,298 meters), was the longest suspension span in the world at the time of its completion.
Opening and Inauguration:The Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge was officially opened on November 21, 1964. It was a major engineering feat and a significant event in the history of New York City. At the time of its opening, the bridge provided the largest clearance in the world for ships to pass under, allowing large ocean vessels to access the Port of New York and New Jersey.
Architectural and Engineering Significance:The Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge was celebrated not only for its size but also for its design. Its double-decked structure allowed for separate levels of traffic, with an upper level for cars and a lower level for trucks and buses. The bridge's towers, which soar 693 feet (211 meters) above the water, are a defining feature of the New York City skyline.
Impact and Legacy:The Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge had a significant impact on the development and connectivity of Staten Island and Brooklyn. It provided a crucial transportation link between the two boroughs and played a vital role in supporting economic growth and development in the region.
Toll Plaza and Toll Collection:Since its opening, the bridge has had tolls to finance its operation and maintenance. The toll plaza is located on the Staten Island side for traffic heading towards Brooklyn.
Today, the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge remains an essential landmark and a symbol of the ingenuity and engineering prowess of the United States. It continues to serve as a crucial transportation link and an iconic element of the New York City skyline.
- Longest Suspension Bridge at the Time: When it was completed in 1964, the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge had the longest suspension span in the world, measuring 4,260 feet (1,298 meters). It retained this title until 1981 when the Humber Bridge in England surpassed it.
- Named After Giovanni da Verrazzano: The bridge is named in honor of the Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano, who explored the East Coast of North America in the early 16th century. He was the first European to enter New York Harbor and explore the area.
- Impressive Tower Height: The towers of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge rise to a height of 693 feet (211 meters) above the water. At the time of its completion, these towers made it the tallest bridge in the world.
- Construction and Cost: The construction of the bridge began on August 14, 1959, and was completed in November 1964. The project cost approximately $320 million, equivalent to over $2.6 billion in today's currency.
- Connections to Robert Moses: The influential urban planner Robert Moses played a significant role in advocating for the construction of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge. His vision for the bridge was to link the boroughs of Staten Island and Brooklyn, providing better transportation options for residents and improving overall accessibility to New York City.
- A Symbol of New York City: The Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge has become an iconic symbol of New York City, featured in numerous films, TV shows, and photographs depicting the city's skyline.
- Annual Marathon Crossing: The bridge serves as a part of the course for the New York City Marathon. Since 1976, the marathon route includes a scenic crossing of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge at the start of the race, offering breathtaking views to the runners.
- LED Lighting: In recent years, the bridge has undergone lighting upgrades. The traditional lights have been replaced with energy-efficient LED lighting, allowing for a more dynamic range of colors to illuminate the bridge during special events and holidays.
- An Engineering Marvel: At the time of its construction, the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge was considered a remarkable engineering achievement, pushing the boundaries of bridge design and setting new standards for suspension bridges.
- Cashless Tolling: The bridge has transitioned to cashless tolling, which eliminates the need for drivers to stop at toll booths, improving traffic flow and reducing congestion.
These historical facts highlight the significance and impact of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge on the development of New York City and its enduring status as an architectural marvel.
Boroughs of New York City
New York City is one of the largest and most populated cities in the world. It is dubbed as “The City That Never Sleeps” or “The Big Apple” because of its busy traffic and people. Likewise, New York City is sometimes called “Gotham City.” The city is recognized for being a world leader in business and commerce and also of the fashion industry. But unbeknownst to most people, New York is divided into five boroughs that operate as five separate countries. Each of these five boroughs offers each traveler a unique experience of New York. For anyone who is planning to visit the Big Apple, knowing a little fact about each of these boroughs will be quite helpful.
Manhattan (New York County)
Manhattan, the commercial district of New York, is usually what comes into peoples’ minds when they think of New York. Manhattan is well-known for its skyscrapers that shape its distinctive skyline and the Broadway theater district. This frequently visited island of New York is located between the Hudson and East Rivers. Popular sites to visit in Manhattan are Greenwich Village, Madison Square Garden, Time Square, and the Central Park, New York’s large urban public park. Visitors should not miss some of Manhattan’s its famous buildings like the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building, the Flatiron Building and the United Nations Building.
Staten Island (Richmond County)
Of the five boroughs of New York City, Staten Island is the most suburban and is also one of the most beautiful. Main attractions in Staten Island are the free ferry ride that offers a view of the Statue of Liberty and the Staten Island Zoo.
Brooklyn (Kings County)
This is the most populated of all the boroughs with 2.5 million populations. Brooklyn has very few tourist attractions but offers a socially diverse ethnicity. Brooklyn is home to many cultural communities; there are the Russian, Hispanic-American, African-American communities, Chinese-American, Italian-American and many others. Perhaps when going to Brooklyn, the recommended attractions to see is the Brooklyn Museum.
Queens (Queens County)
Queens is the larges of the five boroughs in terms of land area and is next to Brooklyn as most populous. The history of Queens dates back in 1683 as one of the first 12 countries of New York. It is home to the famous professional baseball team New York Mets and the United States Open Tennis Center. The second largest Chinatown is also found in Queens.
The Bronx (Bronx County)
The Bronx has not been a media favorite, unlike Manhattan for being known as a place of high crime and unsafe neighborhoods. However, there had been gradual improvements especially in the South Bronx which is considered the most dangerous neighborhoods in the county. In spite of its notoriety, the Bronx has attracted many visitors mainly because of attractions like the Bronx Zoo and the new Yankee Stadium.
Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and The Bronx, the five boroughs of New York City, all have unique offerings of what life is like in the Big Apple.