View Full Version : George Washington Bridge

April 11th, 2005, 10:02 PM
George Washington Bridge (http://www.wirednewyork.com/bridges/gwb/default.htm) in February 2005. It's the same view as from Berenice Abbott's photograph from 1937 and Douglas Levere's photo from 1998 - that are published in New York Changing: Revisiting Berenice Abbott's New York (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1568984731/wirednewyork-20).

http://www.wirednewyork.com/bridges/gwb/images/george_washington_bridge.jpg (http://www.wirednewyork.com/bridges/gwb/default.htm)

April 12th, 2005, 10:24 AM
Cool. It's amazing how quickly a dense forest grows here when left untended.

April 12th, 2005, 02:07 PM
all for the better!
i coudln't stress enough about the necessity of green areas with plants, trees and stuff :)

October 25th, 2006, 10:55 AM
NY Daily News
October 25, 2006

Spanning the ages: 75 years!

George Washington Bridge marks decades as vital city link

By Pete Donohue

Happy Birthday, George!

The George Washington Bridge turns 75 today, a major milestone for the majestic suspension span that towers over the Hudson, linking upper Manhattan and Fort Lee, N.J.

The Port Authority opened the bridge on Oct. 25, 1931 - a year that also saw the completion of the Empire State Building. "The Star-Spangled Banner" became the national anthem that year, too, and Chicago gangster Al Capone was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

The GWB quickly became part of pop culture. It was featured in the 1941 film "Ball of Fire," starring Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck. And the next year the bridge appeared in the children's book "The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge," in which a nearby lighthouse on the river fears it will be rendered obsolete by its new, gigantic neighbor.

The Daily News last week was granted a rare tour of one of the towers, which have been subject to increased security since 9/11. It was one of those fall afternoons where the cityscape was shrouded in gray.

Hundreds of feet below the highest tier, traffic rushed over the span, but the sound was muted by the distance, bursts of rain and the falling of a cold rain.

A solitary sea gull flew over the Hudson River to the top of the Palisades below. The Circle Line appeared to be moving in slow motion down the river, where freight tankers stood seemingly frozen in time.

Originally a six-lane crossing, the George has grown. It's the only 14-lane suspension bridge in the world. Last year more than 107 million cars and trucks crossed the span.

The PA has invested more than $1 billion in upgrades, repairs and maintenance of the GWB, including a recent paint job that required nearly 50,000 gallons of paint.

"The George Washington Bridge is celebrating a 75th birthday and it is looking better than ever," PA Executive Director Kenneth Ringler said, adding that "the health of this great bridge is critical to the region's transportation and economic needs."

© 2006 Daily News, L.P.

October 25th, 2006, 11:41 AM
This bridge's columns have just an incredible glow at night when turned on. However, they dont do it often.


October 25th, 2006, 11:47 AM
Nice pic! what a wonderful sight.

October 25th, 2006, 04:05 PM
http://img109.imageshack.us/img109/2679/gwb20cp0.th.jpg (http://img109.imageshack.us/my.php?image=gwb20cp0.jpg) http://img238.imageshack.us/img238/8301/gwb21pz7.th.jpg (http://img238.imageshack.us/my.php?image=gwb21pz7.jpg) http://img274.imageshack.us/img274/205/gwb22vk8.th.jpg (http://img274.imageshack.us/my.php?image=gwb22vk8.jpg)

http://img274.imageshack.us/img274/8502/gwb23mn5.th.jpg (http://img274.imageshack.us/my.php?image=gwb23mn5.jpg) http://img274.imageshack.us/img274/7499/gwb24qd2.th.jpg (http://img274.imageshack.us/my.php?image=gwb24qd2.jpg)

http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/6643/gwb25.th.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/4/gwb25.jpg/) http://img411.imageshack.us/img411/5650/gwb26.th.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/411/gwb26.jpg/)

January 9th, 2007, 02:37 AM
Agency Cancels Insurer’s Ads for George Washington Bridge

Published: January 9, 2007 (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/09/nyregion/09bridge.html)

Geico’s gecko won’t be waving to drivers at the George Washington Bridge after all.

In a swift reversal, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said yesterday that it would halt plans to place billboards and other advertisements from Geico, the big auto insurer, at the bridge’s toll plaza, tollbooths and approach roads.

The turnaround comes less than a week after the Port Authority said it had signed a two-year deal with Geico valued at $3.2 million. The advertisements would have been the first at a bridge operated by the Port Authority, which has been seeking new sources of revenue to offset its rising costs.

But reaction to the ads, some of which would have featured Geico’s signature mascot, a green gecko, came quickly. Preservationists and some local officials criticized the deal, complaining that the displays would have destroyed the aesthetics of the landmark bridge. The mayor of Fort Lee, where the toll plaza is situated, said that the Port Authority might have run afoul of local laws governing the placement of signs.

But other politicians, including the State Senate president, Richard J. Codey, had more practical concerns: They said the Port Authority could have held out for more money.

“You have an incredible number of people going over the bridge,” Mr. Codey said, referring to the 57 million eastbound drivers who cross the span each year. The price, he said, “seemed to be out of whack.”

Mr. Codey said the Port Authority did not tell him about the sponsorship program, which was agreed upon in 2005 while he was governor. He said the details of the bidding process on the Geico contract should have been disclosed earlier.

A spokesman for Gov. Jon S. Corzine said his office planned to review the Port Authority’s sponsorship program because it was approved under the previous administration. And Stephen Sigmund, a Port Authority spokesman, said the authority’s top officials, including the new executive director, Anthony E. Shorris, and the chairman, Anthony Coscia, had discussed over the weekend whether to pull out of the arrangement and made their decision yesterday.

Geico said it would not contest the authority’s decision to pull out of the contract, which was signed in December.

“We’re sorry that they got the push back they got, but we will withdraw,” said Bill Roberts, executive vice president of Geico. “We were concerned that we would be perceived badly. We want to be a good corporate citizen, but any time you do something new, it takes careful consideration.”

Neil M. Cohen, the deputy speaker of the General Assembly, complained that as a regulated insurer, Geico should not have been given “prime advertising assistance by a bistate government agency.”

The advertising plan “was a slippery slope that would have prompted lawsuits, caused embarrassment and driven up costs for the Port Authority in the long run,” Mr. Cohen said in a statement.

One group that is sure to be disappointed is the advertising firms that were expecting to receive $800,000 for their work putting the deal together.

In backing out of the arrangement, the Port Authority said the revenue from the advertisements was not worth the hostility the plan had received.

“We misjudged the negative reaction to this,” Mr. Sigmund said. That reaction, he added, “was becoming a distraction to the agency, which faces big and serious issues over the next decade.”

Despite the criticism, he insisted that the deal was “competitively priced.”

He said that the agency, which currently receives less than $30 million a year in these kinds of arrangements, would continue to look for new advertising and sponsorship as part of its goal of raising $100 million in such revenues.

Still, as New Jersey looks to the sale or lease of some of the state’s assets to ease its financial burden, the loud and swift response to the contract with Geico was emblematic not just of the cumbersome leadership at the Port Authority, an agency with strong political allegiances to the heads of two states, but also of the broader difficulty quasi-public agencies face when trying to privatize the facilities they operate.

Indeed, the storm over the Geico ads may be just a taste of the emerging debate over Governor Corzine’s exploration of whether to sell or lease state assets like the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway.

“If something like this of a small nature could generate such controversy, the highway privatization is sure to as well,” said Martin E. Robins, the director of the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers University.

Mr. Robins added that the Port Authority was particularly vulnerable to criticism because the governors of New York and New Jersey hold immense sway at the agency.

“The state governments have a huge amount of influence, and they are not afraid to exercise it,” he said. “The Port Authority is a handy punching bag.”

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

February 23rd, 2007, 06:30 PM
The GWB is a critical link in the nation's transportation infrastructure. Loss of this span would devastate the economy. We need to get working on a parallel and identical span. Use the second deck of GWB II to handle transit in accordance with GWB I's original design. The scale of this project would be enormous, but then again, it's nothing NY and the country can't handle. This, with reconstruction/expansion/tunneling of the Cross Bronx Expressway, would make Boston's Big Dig look like a flea circus.

Bring it on.

February 26th, 2007, 10:24 AM
Where would the cars go Bob?

One thing I have noticed, going into NY, is that the delays are rarely because of the tolls on the NJ side, but rather something going wrong on the CBE...

Building a second bridge in, just to be safe, would do nothing but make traffic even more hellacious.

They need another cross point somewhere between there and the HT, but the Pallisades make that a difficult proposition. I realize it is important to have redundant systems when it comes to averting problems, but building another bridge out of fear of terrorist action is not a smart thing to do.

February 26th, 2007, 07:12 PM
GWB I is already the busiest bridge in the world. GWB II can handle truck and rail traffic exclusively, and allow for complete separation of the truck traffic underground across the Bronx. To go one step further, diesel particulates could be filtered out, such that the net result of the GWB II approach from Manhattan would be cleaner air for those who live in the Bronx. This, too, would eliminate the 10-mile long tie-ups across the Bronx, allowing through traffic to actually go through NYC enroute to other destinations. GWB II does not necessarily mean more cars in Manhattan. It means more vehicles able to pass through Manhattan, expeditiously. And, it means (ultimately) the people of the Bronx getting their borough back after too many decades. Widen it. Cover it. Clean the air.

Dream big.

February 27th, 2007, 10:33 AM
Dream big.Not in this city they won't.

February 27th, 2007, 10:41 AM
GWB II does not necessarily mean more cars in Manhattan. It means more vehicles able to pass through Manhattan,

Bob, re-read my last statement.

Unless you build more roads (CBE) it does not matter if they go in or not, you will still have a bottleneck on the NY side of the bridges.

Since this is a HEAVILY developed area, simply widening the roads is not an option. If teh roads cannot handle what the GWB and the surrounding neighborhood imposes on it now, adding another will just make for another nice trans-Hudson mobile parking facility... ;)

The Benniest
July 4th, 2008, 09:34 AM
Recently, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has been working to replace the famed "necklace"
of lights on the George Washington Bridge.

Intrepid News photographer David Handschuh secured his equipment, donned a safety harness and
climbed high into the sky to catch the action.

One of the old bulbs glows at left. The mercury-vapor units, originally installed in 1964 in advance of
the World's Fair, burn out after around a year, while the new light emitting diode fixtures will have a life
expectancy of between 12-15 years. The new lights are expected to produce annual energy and
maintenance savings of $49,000, and they will also reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by approximately
260,000 pounds.

First and most importantly, electrical supervisor Steve Olmo makes sure that his harness is securely
hooked to the bridge's cables, because it's a long way down to the water...

...604 feet down, to be exact!

Electrician John O'Leary shows no fear as he balances atop one of the four main cables supporting the
77-year-old suspension bridge, despite the roaring traffic and deep water hundreds of feet below.

The bridge sways gently in the wind and a thunderstorm begins to roll in, but his fellow electrician, the
Port Authority's Keith Caldarulo, is the picture of concentration as he retrofits an old fixture with a shiny
new one.

Caldarulo is joined by Olmo and the two make sure that the new lamp and wiring are working
perfectly. All 156 lights along the 3,500-foot-long span will have to be replaced, but that's one
more done!

Most of us wouldn't frolic atop a bridge, secured only by a rope, for any inducements, but to this daring
team of high-wire walkers - P.A. plant manager Ken Sagrestano, electrical supervisors Tom Burke and
Steve Olmo and electricians John O'Leary and Keith Caldarulo (l. to r.), it was just another typical day
at the office.

The next evening, cars speeding past on the West Side Highway are treated to a beautiful view as the
George Washington Bridge's new finery sets off its steel latticework towers and lights up the night.

Copyright 2008 New York Daily News

July 4th, 2008, 11:40 AM
Nice! I'm sure those are energy efficent lights. They did the samething to the Brooklyn Bridge I believe last year. It was only a matter of time before the G-dub will have the same treat.

Gregory Tenenbaum
July 6th, 2008, 09:52 PM
It has been given cultural recognition in more than one film, but heres one:


Like parts of "Brooklyn" as Hollywood knows it, thanks to Mangold its a symbol of the city and indeed, of Jersey.

August 20th, 2008, 03:28 PM
You gotta check it out: http://www.archboston.org/community/showthread.php?t=2400

August 20th, 2008, 03:54 PM
Wow, what a fantastic bridge tour on a gorgeous day.

That's forumer vanshnookenraggen (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/member.php?u=9503).

August 20th, 2008, 05:06 PM
A great set of photographs and views I will never get to see.

Thanks for the link ablarc.

August 21st, 2008, 07:55 AM
May as well post the real thing here. Thanks ablarc.

This summer I have been working as an intern in the planning department for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. As a perk they gave all the interns an opportunity to take a tour of some of their facilities. As an experienced urban explorer I knew there was only one place I wanted to check out, the George Washington Bridge.









This is the elevator we took up. All that separated us from the world was a mesh cage.


Fort Lee, NJ

Climbing out to the very top. The guys on the right and left are bridge painters who gave us the tour.

They told us stories about when the elevator would break down and they would have to climb all the way down with no net or rope.

Through this view finder you could see the other great New York bridges as well as the Statue of Liberty.

The George Washington Bridge is the most heavily trafficked bridge in the US.

This guy was a character. Specifically Carl from Aqua Teen Hunger Force.


Yonkers across the river.

Security is very important.




For the rest, here (http://www.flickr.com/photos/vanshnookenraggen/sets/72157606733768670/) is my Flickr.

August 21st, 2008, 10:45 AM
Lucky dog, getting the opportunity to go up there.

August 21st, 2008, 11:01 AM
It's such an intricate and graceful bridge. One of the world's most beautiful and probably NY's best.

August 21st, 2008, 11:39 AM
What a great set of photos. The GW IMO is the best bridge in the city.

August 24th, 2008, 01:29 PM
Amazing set of photos!

Thanks for the tour.

The Benniest
August 31st, 2008, 02:28 AM
I agree. Thanks so much for these excellent photos! :D

September 7th, 2008, 11:50 PM
The GWB is like an old friend.

June 27th, 2009, 07:22 AM

Story of civilization, January 1931

After more than 30 years of planning, ground for the commercially vital Hudson River Bridge was broken at last in September 1927, and for the next four years, as workers bored and poured and hammered and riveted and strung up the cables for the world’s longest suspension span, the Hudson River Bridge is all anyone ever called it. And then the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey suddenly decided to call it the George Washington Memorial Bridge instead. A loud public cry went up: What for? As there were 25 George Washington Bridges in the United States already. Civic groups fussed and newspaper editorials thundered, and finally there was a popular referendum, with ballot boxes installed all over. Tens of thousands of votes later, Hudson River Bridge was the overwhelming favorite, but then the Port Authority summarily ignored that outcome and went with George Washington anyway. By whatever name, the great bridge was an authentic marvel, one of the world’s modern wonders. “The story of bridge-building is the story of civilization,” Gov. Franklin Roosevelt declared when the thing opened to traffic in October 1931. “When posterity surveys the achievements of 20th-century America, a highly significant monument will be the George Washington Bridge. It will be, perhaps, our most impressive and characteristic landmark.”

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2009/06/17/2009-06-17_big_town_big_picture_the_george_washington_brid ge.html

July 9th, 2009, 06:39 PM
The company I work for acquired Ammann & Whitney a few years back. I've got to go into their archives one of these days.....

August 24th, 2009, 12:20 PM
Hard not to love this bridge.

Deo.Dato (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dpangandoyon/2972656246/sizes/l/in/set-72157608366086245/)

August 24th, 2009, 01:04 PM
Flight 11, which had passed over the bridge on 09-11-01, was said to only be about several hundred above it.

But I wouldn't want that job of taking care of the bridge for all the tea in China! :eek:

August 24th, 2009, 01:11 PM
Hard not to love this bridge.

Aesthetically, it's an occular delight (specially when the columns are lit). Practically though, it is hard to love at say....5:30 PM on a weekday from either I-95, I-87.:cool: The bridge is a traffic generating machine that trickes down to several highways...it sorely, sorely needs a companion crossing either north or south of it.

August 24th, 2009, 02:55 PM
Wouldn't more bridges generate more traffic? ...then we'll sorely need more highways.

David Lemmens (http://www.flickr.com/photos/lemmens/3852005408/sizes/l/)

August 24th, 2009, 05:09 PM

Seriously, what a beauty.

August 25th, 2009, 09:35 AM
Wouldn't more bridges generate more traffic? ...then we'll sorely need more highways.

No. If you ever driven on the Deegan (I-87)you realize that the trafific is fine util it pretty much bottlenecks at the exit ramp for the GWB.

August 25th, 2009, 09:44 AM
The only viable spot for a another bridge would be:

(1) to the north -- where?


(2) near W 57th -- but where would it connect in NJ?

December 7th, 2009, 12:12 AM
Tony Shi, NY-NJ / © All rights reserved (http://bighugelabs.com/onblack.php?id=4091256079&size=large)

December 7th, 2009, 07:10 PM
^^ I can respond to that picture with one word: Damn!

April 8th, 2010, 01:12 PM
http://images.ny-pictures.com/photo2/m/31239_m.jpg (http://ny-pictures.com/nyc/photo/picture/31239/fog_burns_off_morning)

Picture of George Washington Bridge (http://ny-pictures.com/nyc/photo/topic/4084/George_Washington_Bridge) thanks to mgreene (http://ny-pictures.com/nyc/photo/photographer/605014/mgreene) and New York Pictures (http://ny-pictures.com/nyc/photo/)

April 12th, 2010, 01:18 AM
Probably the best and happiest Hudson River crossing, I love this Bridge, the structure is amazing and a masterpiece, I-95, I-80, US 1 & 9 and US 46, it is one crossing that could be said the 'gateway of New England.'

August 2nd, 2010, 08:49 AM
J. Wood (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jcwoodphotography/4835726481/sizes/l/in/pool-63919873@N00/)
Large: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4105/4835726481_d944e1b2dd_b.jpg

J. Wood (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jcwoodphotography/4836335838/sizes/l/)
Large: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4107/4836335838_f7ceac0226_b.jpg

August 3rd, 2010, 07:58 AM
I don't know.

I would not call it stately or graceful, but I wold call it "smart".

It has good lines, and is definitely handsome at a distance. The addition of the tower lights helps add a bit to its aesthetic charm, but comparing it to the double-duty construction on the experimental Brooklyn Bridge, or the Blue Plate Williamsburg (complete with balconies), it is hard to call it beautiful.

Ugly? No way. You have the Tappan Zee for that.

I do say, however, that it is probably the strongest statement of "bridge" in these parts. It is a mahor life line and a symbol of technological achievement.

As for building another crossing? i agree, there needs to be a bit more. That tunnel they are talking about is pomising, but it is way down near JC isn't it?

The key to another crossing is not to make it huge. That would only encourage more people and make another bottleneck at moth its ends. But, rather, to give another crossing in and out of the city. NJ is actually closer than many parts of Queens and Brooklyn, but with only 3 ways across (not counting TZB or anything further north, or the detour through SI) it still stays so far away.

September 8th, 2010, 03:10 PM
I remember seeing renderings on WNY of Cass Gilbert's terra cotta clad towers originally planned for the GW bridge back in 1930 but scrapped due to cost. Does anybody know where I can find them?

September 8th, 2010, 03:34 PM
Not having any luck finding that ^

But here's an interesting proposal for a bridge crossing the Hudson along the Holland Tunnel route:

Baron Bossom’s Bridge (http://www.andrewcusack.com/2009/12/11/baron-bossoms-bridge/)


September 8th, 2010, 04:13 PM
Google Books has a volume with some images of the Cass Gilbert plan:

Six bridges: the legacy of Othmar H. Ammann (http://books.google.com/books?id=A51VbeqTwogC&pg=PT83&lpg=PT83&dq=%22cass+gilbert%22+%22john+t.+Cronin%22&source=bl&ots=KCB61YYlM3&sig=LCz7vKyuNpq4gvPxJ0PcY4ePqRw&hl=en&ei=3OmHTJCWGMH7lwfFqfTyDg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CBsQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=%22cass%20gilbert%22%20%22john%20t.%20Cronin%22&f=false) By Darl Rastorfer

Renders by John T. Cronin and F. Radberg (and the office of Cass Gilbert) ...







September 8th, 2010, 05:11 PM
Superfluous stuff. ^

September 8th, 2010, 09:34 PM
Thanks, Lofter!

October 2nd, 2010, 11:09 PM
A Bridge Goes Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness


The George Washington Bridge with pink gels that were installed for
Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The 156 necklace lights will be lit for
the month of October.

When Chris Bonanno’s sister was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago, he was desperate to do something to help.

Then he had an idea: Why not turn the lights adorning the George Washington Bridge, traversed by some 300,000 vehicles a day, pink?

Mr. Bonanno, 50, is one of 10 electricians who work on the bridge, so he had a leg up.

Still, it took some work: He spent months researching which types of coverings would work best and scouring the Internet for film studio equipment. He pored over books filled with sample lighting gels, or colored filters, then affixed lights covered with the final three candidates to the deck of his home in Dumont, N.J.

“Which do you think is the pinkest?” he asked his three daughters, ages 13, 16 and 20, and their friends.

When Mr. Bonanno raised the idea with his co-workers, he said, it started to seem as though everyone had some connection to the disease. A fellow worker, Keith Caldarulo, was particularly touched by the idea: His mother had been diagnosed. “They all know somebody that has gone through it,” Mr. Bonanno said.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the bridge, approved the idea over the summer. After much work on the part of Mr. Bonanno’s fellow electricians, the 156-light “necklace” of the George Washington Bridge glowed pink for the first time last night. It will continue to do so throughout October, in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Mr. Bonanno has gone even further, painting his Port Authority hard hat – a symbol of macho if there was one – pink, and affixing a bow. “I guess it’s an icebreaker,” he said.

Chris Bonanno, left, and Kenneth Soule put pink gels on the necklace lights
of the George Washington Bridge. The electricians who maintain the lights
all have friends and relatives who have had breast cancer.


February 18th, 2011, 05:14 AM
Way Back Machine | Name That Bridge, 1931 Edition


Again with the hand-wringing over what to name a bridge. Edward I. Koch is having as much trouble getting a bridge for himself as George Washington did 80 years ago on the other side of the island. In George Washington’s case, there was actually a public referendum on whether to call the George Washington Bridge the George Washington Bridge. And George Washington actually lost.

George had popped up entirely from out of the blue. Not once from the very conception of the world’s mightiest suspension span had anyone intended to call it the George Washington Bridge. Not once, not over the three decades it took for the pols of New York and New Jersey to decide to build the thing in the first place, not over the several more years that followed the September 1927 groundbreaking, as workers lustily bored and poured and hammered and riveted and strung up cables, was it ever known as anything but the Hudson River Bridge.

And then suddenly, in January 1931, as the great construct neared completion, the Port of New York Authority announced that it was going to be called the George Washington Memorial Bridge instead.

Well, what for? Much was the consternation. Loud was the cry and hue. Civic groups fussed. Newspaper editorialists muttered and rumbled. Not that anyone had anything in particular against George Washington, a perfectly fine fellow, Father of our Country, all that. The thing was, across the length and breadth of the land, George Washington had 25 bridges named after him already, one of them right here, crossing the Harlem River.

Which, it was observed, you’d think would be plenty enough bridges for anyone.

Swamped by tumult, the Port Authority voted to reconsider. Whereupon its chairman was illumed with democratic ideal: Let, he declared, the people decide.

Ballot boxes accordingly went up en masse on both sides of the river, and all through January and February and March, tens of thousands of citizens cast their votes. The newspapers kept daily running tallies. George Washington was never anywhere close to the front of the pack (though he did fare well in petitions mailed directly to the Port Authority). Hudson River Bridge was always the huge popular favorite, Palisades Bridge trailing behind. There were vigorous boosters of Interstate Bridge and Knickerbocker Bridge. Veterans organizations were solidly behind Admiral Farragut Bridge. Write-ins measurably included Al Smith Bridge and Charles Lindbergh Bridge. Some Brooklyn guy named Levy mounted an earnest campaign for Levy Bridge, but this never got a lot of traction.
Official motorcades start across
the George Washington Bridge
during the dedication ceremonies
in New York City on Oct. 24, 1931.

In April the election results went back to the Port Authority, which — being then, as now, an outfit not called upon to labor under the burden of much in the way of accountability — paid no attention to them at all and voted to go ahead with George Washington Bridge whether anybody liked it or not. Its bridge-naming committee, The New York Times reported, “declined to make public the nature of its decision.”

And so the G.W.B. was formally dedicated a few months later, although most everyone continued to call it the Hudson River Bridge for years yet since that’s what they’d always called it anyway.

Just as, it may be expected, the Queensboro will long remain the Queensboro to many New Yorkers regardless of what the City Council does or does not do in reference to the matter of the Mr. Koch. Bobby Kennedy was a fine fellow too, but who calls the R.F.K. the R.F.K.?

Memo to Hon. Ed: Suggest consider legally changing your name to Edward I. Queensboro. Problem solved.


October 26th, 2012, 06:00 AM
Celebrating 81 Years of the George Washington Bridge

by Jessica Dailey

GW Bridge construction, around 1930. Photo via MCNY (http://collections.mcny.org/C.aspx?VP3=CMS3&VF=SearchDetailPopupPage&VBID=24UP1GUXTSK5&PN=52&IID=2F3XC5IX2LSO)

Opening day, October 25, 1931.


more pics
(http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2012/10/25/celebrating_81_years_of_the_george_washington_brid ge.php)
This day 81 years ago, the first cars zipped across the George Washington Bridge (http://www.panynj.gov/bridges-tunnels/george-washington-bridge.html). When the suspension bridge opened on October 25, 1931, it was the longest in the world, until the Golden Gate snatched the title away in 1937. Designed by Othmar H. Ammann, the bridge originally had a single deck with six lanes of traffic, but as America's love of cars grew, so did the bridge. Two more lanes were added in 1946, and in 1959, construction began on the lower deck, which opened with six lanes of traffic in 1962. Today, the bridge holds the distinction of being the only 14-lane suspension bridge in the world. Apparently, it also is home to the world's largest free-flying flag. Who knew? If you're one of the 280,000 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Washington_Bridge) cars to traverse the bridge today, don't forget to wish it a happy birthday.

http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2012/10/25/celebrating_81_years_of_the_george_washington_brid ge.php

September 24th, 2014, 04:02 AM
Like the present version better.

See The George Washington Bridge As Its Designers Intended



Visuals by Max Touhey (http://touheyphotography.com/gwb/)

The world's busiest motor-vehicle span (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Washington_Bridge), it's difficult to believe that the George Washington Bridge is, in a manner of speaking, unfinished. Designed by American architect Cass Gilbert and Swiss-American structural engineer Othmar H. Ammann—who, as Port Authority's Chief Engineer, was also responsible for the designs of the Verrazano Narrows and the Bayonne bridges—the suspension bridge was originally envisioned with its steel beams covered in granite. That means the current metal towers were intended not as the finished product they are now, but an armature for, as Darl Rastofer writes in his 2010 book Six Bridges (http://yalepress.yale.edu/yupbooks/book.asp?isbn=9780300080476), "thousands of pieces of dimensional stone."



Rastofer offers a deeper explanation for the stone-clad design in his chapter titled, oh-so-pithily, "A Thwarted Plan for Stonework":

Ammann chose stone to strike a harmonious balance between the architecture of his structure and the natural grandeur of the site. On the New York shore, dramatic granite outcroppings carve their way from water's edge to high plateau. Ammann's towers were conceived as natural extensions of this rugged landscape. While formally related to the opposing cliffs, the stone towers promised to pose a perfect foil to the shiny steel of the cables and road deck hovering over the water.

Original design proposal (http://stuffnobodycaresabout.com/2013/07/04/things-you-didnt-know-about-the-george-washington-bridge/) for the George Washington Bridge, showing it significantly larger
(look at the tiny Brooklyn Bridge inset!) and complete with the ill-fated stone arches.

Alas, although the bridge's governing board accepted the preliminary plans for those stone towers, design trends shifted away from revivalism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revivalism_%28architecture%29) and towards modernism, and the board eventually cancelled the stone due to reasons both stylistic and cost-saving.

Indeed, construction was completed under budget and eight months ahead of schedule, in no small part thanks to the lack of stonework. The architects were at first displeased, but never publicly expressed their frustration, and when the bridge opened on October 25, 1931, it was embraced by the masses, even without the granite. Here's a good what-if: had Ammann and Gilbert realized the bridge was not destined to include stone coverings, the GWB would likely have a far more slender shape, not having needed to be large enough to support all that weight.

—Hannah Frishberg

http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2014/09/23/see_the_george_washington_bridge_as_its_designers_ intended.php#more