There are 2,027 bridges in NYC.
              I'm trying find all of them.
                         And then cross all of them.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Verrazano - Narrows Bridge

Only 2,022 more to go...


Spans - Brooklyn-Staten Island, The Narrows, New York Harbor.

According to the MTA, the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge was the world's longest suspension span when it opened in 1964.

"Its monumental 693 foot high towers are 1 5/8 inches farther apart at their tops than at their bases because the 4,260 foot distance between them made it necessary to compensate for the earth's curvature. Each tower weighs 27,000 tons and is held together with three million rivets and one million bolts. Seasonal contractions and expansions of the steel cables cause the double-decked roadway to be 12 feet lower in the summer than in the winter." (MTA website)


The Bridge at dawn as seen from the approach to New York Harbor

The bridge was designed by Othmar Ammann, who had also designed many of the most beautiful and iconic bridges in New York City, including the George Washington Bridge, the Bayonne Bridge, the Bronx Whitestone Bridge, the Triborough Bridge, Throgs Neck Bridge and the lovely, Hell Gate Bridge (AKA, The New York Connecting Railroad Bridge).
The dramatic silhouette of the span may be best known as the starting point for the annual NYC Marathon, but it is also featured in many films set in NYC. My personal favorite is from Saturday Night Fever when Tony Manero (John Travolta) and his Bay Ridge friends all get wasted and climb all over the cables.


View from the 69th Street Pier, looking South to the mouth of the harbor.


Crossing the span during the 2007, NYC 5Boro Bicycle Tour, one of the few opportunities for non-motorists to cross the bridge which has no provisions for pedestrians or bicyclists.

Type of bridge: Suspension
Construction started: August 13, 1959
Opened to traffic (upper deck): November 21, 1964
Opened to traffic (lower deck): June 28, 1969
Length of main span: 4,260 feet
Length of each side span: 1,215 feet
Length, anchorage to anchorage: 6,690 feet
Total length of bridge and approaches: 13,700 feet
Width of bridge: 103 feet
Number of decks: 2 decks
Number of traffic lanes: 12 lanes (6 upper, 6 lower)
Height of towers above mean high water: 693 feet
Clearance at center above mean high water: 228 feet
Deepest foundation below mean high water: 170 feet
Cost of original structure: $320,126,000

Bridge statistics from

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