George Washington Bridge, New York City
I love the bridges and tunnels leading to and from NYC. Perhaps it is because I have spent so much time getting in and out of the City that I have just learned to try to appreciate them.
For nearly a century engineers could not solve the problem of building a safe and reliable bridge capable of carrying the expected traffic between New York and New Jersey. They could not even agree where to build it, let alone how to build it. Finally, they decided to put it from near Fort Lee, NJ to near Fort Washington on the New York side at 179th Street. In fact many locals refer to it as the "179th Street Bridge." During the Revolutionary War, General George Washington used essentially this same route to evacuate American troops after defending Manhattan Island from British invasion.
The double-deck suspension bridge design which was developed by Swiss engineer Othmar Ammann not only masterfully spanned the Hudson River but resulted in a very aesthetically pleasing structure. At its opening on 24 October 1931, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world and cost about $75,000,000 to build. It took about four years to build and today its 14 lanes carry about 275,000 cars per day across the Hudson River, and all 275,000 seem to be on the bridge blowing their horns each time I try to cross it. ;-)
Since this is a toll bridge, with 275,000 cars per day, how can New York and New Jersey be going broke?
The George Washington Bridge connects Manhattan to New Jersey, and is the 13th largest suspension bridge in the world. With about 300,000 vehicles crossing each day, it is also one of the busiest bridges anywhere. Opened in 1931, the 4,760 foot long bridge boasts 12 lanes on the upper level and 12 more on the lower level!
During the Revolutionary War, the colonists lost NYC to the British in the Battle of Long Island during August of 1776. The colonists retreated to northern Manhattan where Fort Washington and Fort Lee stood on opposing banks of the mighty Hudson River. With the British landing at Throg's neck and New Rochelle, Washington decided to split his forces, leaving 2,800 men at Fort Washington and moving the rest out of the city to the north. The British surrounded and captured these soldiers, in a huge military disaster for the colonists. With the British now focusing on Fort Lee, General Nathanial Greene mad the wise decision to abandon the fort and rejoin Washington's main army.
The sites of Fort Lee and Fort Washington stand near either end of the George Washington Bridge.
There are many scary bridges in and around NYC. I hate them ALL!!! We drove over the George Washington bridge and got stuck for 2 hours ON the bridge and the only reason we are not STILL stuck on it, is because I cheated and got in any exit lane I could find ( like the locals....) and then cut in front of traffic where you had to merge again....
I think the one in my photo is the bridge that connects Staten Island and Brooklyn.
The George Washington Bridge is a suspension bridge over the Hudson River, connecting the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City to Fort Lee in New Jersey. The pillar on the Manhattan side of the bridge stands on Jeffery's Hook, above the Little Red Lighthouse. In 2004, the bridge carried 108,404,000 vehicles.
Current tolls for cars are US$6.
The George Washington Bridge is also popular among sightseers and commuters traveling by foot, bicycle, or roller skates. Normally the North sidewalk is for pedestrians only, and the South sidewalk (accessible by a long, steep ramp on the Manhattan side of the bridge) is shared by bicyclists and pedestrians.
Whenever I drive into Manhattan from NJ I take the GWB. I prefer it to the Lincoln or Holland Tunnels, hands down! You get access the bridge from many major highways, including 95, 80 and Rt 4. It will put you at the northern tip of the island and you can make your way downtown via the Henry Hudson Parkway which runs down the western coast.