Verrazano Narrows Bridge, Brooklyn

#37 of 182 in Things to do in Brooklyn
Bridge · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
The Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge ( vər-ə-ZAH-noh; also referred to as the Verrazzano Bridge, locally as the Verrazzano, and formerly as the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge or Narrows Bridge) is a suspension bridge connecting the New York City boroughs of Staten Island and Brooklyn. It spans the Narrows, a body of water linking the relatively enclosed Upper New York Bay with Lower New York Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, and is the only fixed crossing of the Narrows. The double-deck bridge carries 13 lanes of Interstate 278, with seven lanes on the upper level and six on the lower level. The span is named for Giovanni da Verrazzano, who in 1524 was the first documented European explorer to enter New York Harbor and the Hudson River.

Engineer David B. Steinman proposed a bridge across the Narrows in the late 1920s, and subsequent proposals were deferred over the next 20 years. A 1920s attempt to build a rail tunnel under the Narrows was aborted, as was another 1930s plan for vehicular tubes underneath the Narrows. Discussion of a tunnel resurfaced in the mid-1930s and early 1940s, but the plans were again denied. In the late 1940s, urban planner Robert Moses championed a bridge across the Narrows as a way to connect Staten Island with the rest of the city. Various problems delayed the start of construction until 1959. Designed by Othmar Ammann, Leopold Just and other engineers at Ammann & Whitney, the bridge opened on November 21, 1964, and a lower deck was opened in June 1969 to alleviate high levels of traffic. The New York City government began a $1.5 billion reconstruction of the bridge's two decks in 2014.

The Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge has a central span of 4,260 feet (1.30 km; 0.81 mi). It was the longest suspension bridge in the world until it was surpassed by the Humber Bridge in the United Kingdom in 1981. The bridge has the 17th-longest main span in the world, as well as the longest in the Americas. When the bridge was officially named in 1960, it was misspelled "Verrazano-Narrows Bridge" due to an error in the construction contract; the name was officially corrected in October 2018. The Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge collects tolls in both directions, although only westbound drivers paid a toll from 1986 to 2020 in an attempt to reduce traffic.

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Verrazano Narrows Bridge reviews

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328 reviews
  • The Verrazano Bridge connects the Brooklyn and Staten Island boroughs. It is an impressive bridge with a mirador where you can stop on the way to the JFK airport or Long Island. It is a beautiful...  more »
  • We crossed the Verrazano bridge around 6:30am on a Friday. No traffic and crossed over very quickly. Great views of New York Harbor on both sides. Don't forget your EZ-Pass!  more »
  • One of the best bridges in the Northeastern United States! Always a great experience driving over it, weather you are on the upper or lower level, and weather you are stuck in traffic or not! Only downside is the interchange with the Belt Parkway Eastbound. Merging there is really bad when you traffic is heavy, and not that well designed. Other than that, great bridge!
  • My first trip over the bridge that was built in the year of my birth was as a truck driver from Ct to the five NYC Burroughs crossing from Staten Island to Brooklyn was amazing to me, to see the statue of liberty for the first time from high atop the bridge was fantastic. But I was still in awe every day when I crossed the bridge. It's a great monument to the men who designed it and the men who built it. Definitely worth seeing up close and personal if you travel to NYC!

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