The Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge is one of the famous bridges in New York that links Brooklyn to Staten Island. It is also called Verrazzano Bridge or Narrows Bridge. It is the longest suspension bridge in America at a 4,176-meter length.
The bridge was named after Giovanni da Verrazzano. He was the first person to sail into New York Harbor in 1524.
The iconic suspended bridge has even been featured in many movies and TV series. You might have spotted it in:
The Usual Suspects
Saturday Night Fever
A Most Violent Year
Other movies featuring the bridge are The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight, Maniac (1980), Run for Your Life 1, The Sonnet Project, Around the World in 80 Days 2, and Marathon (1984).
The History of The Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge
Staten Island was originally separated from the other boroughs in New York. It was only accessible by Ferry from Manhattan or 39th and 69th Streets in Brooklyn.
The first plan for linking Staten Island to the other boroughs was to build a Staten Island tunnel that would continue subway service from Brooklyn to Staten Island. The plan was eventually abandoned.
From 1926, plans for a bridge to cross the Narrows were being discussed. The plan faced resistance from Bay Ridge residents as the construction of the bridge would lead to their relocation.
Over the next 33 years, different plans were proposed, opposed, started, and put on hold; until finally, construction started in 1959.
The bridge was designed by Chief Engineer Othmar Ammann who designed 5 other bridges in New York City. Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge was his last project
The Verrazano Bridge project caused around 7000 residents of Bay Ridge to lose their homes. But it also necessitated the construction of the Staten Island Expressway and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. The bridge ended up being a major contributor to the development of Staten Island.
Verrazzano Bridge Features
- Total length: 4,176 meters (13,700 ft)
- Width: 31 meters (103 ft)
- Height: 211 meters (693 ft)
- Weight: 1,265,000 tons
- Longest span: 1,298 meters (4,260 ft)
- Upper Level: 7 lanes (one of the lanes is reversible)
- Lower Level: 6 lanes
- Above: 4.57 meters at the upper level and 4.39 meters at the lower level.
- Below: 69.5 meters at average water level
- Lights: 262 LED lights
- High towers length: 211 meters
Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge Toll rates
The two-way toll rates since April 2021 are:
- $6.55 for E-ZPass users outside of Staten Island.
- $2.75 for E-ZPass users that are residents of Staten Island.
- $10.17 for non–New York E-ZPass users and Tolls by Mail
- $8.36 for Mid-Tier NYCSC E-ZPass
Facts about Verrazzano Bridge
- The Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority (a Metropolitan Transportation Authority affiliate) owns the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge.
- Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world when it was built in 1964. It is now the 18thlongest in 2022.
- The roadway is 12 feet lower in the summer than in the winter. This is due to seasonal contractions and expansions of its steel cables.
- The Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge is the shortest route between the mid-Atlantic states and Long Island.
- Not everyone wanted the bridge to be called the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge. Many believed Giovanni da Verrazzano was not the first to sail into New York Harbor. They preferred the names “Staten Island Bridge or Narrows Bridge”.
- The Architect of the bridge also designed the Bayonne Bridge, Triborough Bridge, and George Washington Bridge.
- The start and stop points of the Verrazzano-Narrows bridge were chosen because they had the shortest distance across the bay.
- The bridge cost $320 million to build.
- During the construction of the Verrazzano Bridge, 800 homes were demolished at Bay Ridge; causing the displacement of their tenants.
- All ships hoping to pass through New York Harbor must be designed to accommodate the clearance under the bridge.
- The upper deck of the bridge opened in 1964 while the lower deck opened in 1969.
- The bridge originally collected two-way tolls before switching to one-way tolls in 1986 and then back to two-way tolls in 2020.
- Over 200,000 vehicles cross the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge daily.
- The Bridge’s roadway weighs 60,000 tons and is supported by four cables suspended from towers. The cables weigh nearly 10,000 tons each and the towers are 211 meters tall.
Best Views of the Verrazzano-Narrow bridge.
Shore Park and Parkway
John Paul Jones Park
Kaiser Park, Brooklyn
South Beach and Midland Beach
Location: Verrazano-Narrows Bridge runs from Brooklyn to Staten Island
Phone number: +1 212-360-3000
Opening hours: All day
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Who is the Verrazzano Bridge named after?
A: Italian Explorer, Giovanni da Verrazzano.
Q: What body of water does the Verrazzano Bridge cross?
A: The Narrows – the main outlet of the Hudson River into the Atlantic Ocean.
Q: Why was the Verrazano Bridge renamed Verrazzano Bridge?
A: When the Bridge was officially named in 1960, it was misspelled with only one ‘Z’. It was corrected in 2018 to honor the Italian explorer after whom it was named.
Q: Who was the first to cross the Verrazzano Bridge?
A: George Scarpelli and six of his friends were the first to cross the Verrazzano Bridge, for no reason other than sheer determination.
Q: How many workers died during the construction of the Verrazzano Bridge?
A: Three men died from accidental falls from the deck. After, safety nets got installed under the deck.
Q: Is someone buried under Verrazzano Bridge?
A: No one got buried under the Verrazzano Bridge. This rumor is popular because of the movie Saturday Night Fever. A character lists facts about the Verrazzano Bridge. One of the facts claims that a man got buried in the cement.
Q: When was the Verrazzano-narrows Bridge built?
A: The Verrazzano bridge got built over five years, from 1959 to 1964.
Q: What time does the Verrazzano Bridge open?
A: The Bridge is always open.
Q: Where is the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge situated?
A: The Verrazzano bridge is between Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn and Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island.