The Verrazano Narrows Bridge as seen
from Brooklyn, New York
The Verrazano Narrows Bridge is a suspension bridge that connects the boroughs of Staten Island and Brooklyn in New York City at the Narrows, the reach between Brooklyn and Staten Island connecting the relatively protected upper bay and with the larger lower bay. At the time of its completion in 1964 until 1981 it was the longest suspension bridge in the world until the Humber Bridge in England surpassed its span.
Chief engineer for the Bridge was Othmar Ammann, who also worked on the design of the George Washington Bridge, the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge, the Triboro Bridge and the Throgs Neck Bridge. It was his last project. Construction on the Verrazano Narrows Bridge started on August 13, 1959 and the upper deck was opened on November 21, 1964 at a cost of over $320 million. The lower deck opened on June 28,1969. Interstate 278 passes over the Bridge connecting the Staten Island Expressway with the Brooklyn Queens Expressway.
The Verrazano Narrows and the Bridge are named after the explorer Giovanni da Verrazano who was the first known European navigator to enter New York Harbor and the Hudson River.
The bridge is owned by MTA Bridges and Tunnels, an agency of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York state. The one-way toll (paid westbound into Staten Island only) is $8 for cars (as of September 2003). There is a reduced rate for Staten Island residents.
The bridge is featured prominently at the opening of the New York City Marathon, the course of which begins in Staten Island near the approach the bridge.