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Thread: Verrazano-Narrows Bridge - Designed by Othmar Ammann

  1. #31

    Default End Is Near For Obsolete Verrazano-Narrows Bridge Toll Booths

    By Maura Yates

    January 26, 2010, 6:34AM


    STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- More than 20 years after they collected their last toll, the defunct Brooklyn-bound Verrazano-Narrows Bridge toll booths will be torn down starting this spring, the MTA announced yesterday. Brooklyn-based Paul J. Scariano Inc. was awarded the contract for the $2.5 million project, which involves demolition of eight toll booths, which long ago outlived their usefulness and serve only to slow morning traffic. The contract also includes the removal of the booths’ concrete islands, utilities, canopy structures and electronic signs, as well as electrical, concrete and asphalt restoration work. The first of the booths are slated to meet the wrecking ball in April, and the entire project is expected to be completed early next year. The booth removal, coupled with upcoming major improvements to the Staten Island Expressway, “will significantly improve traffic,” said MTA Board Member Allen Cappelli. But before the payoff comes the pain. “There is no way that there is not going to be some impact,” Cappelli said, but the project will be done in stages to keep traffic flowing. 2 AT A TIME
    The booths will come down two at a time, starting with the ones to the far right of the plaza. Traffic lanes will be shifted during the work to accommodate the demolition, and the same number of lanes will be maintained during rush hours.

    A second phase of the project will remove the last three Brooklyn-bound toll booths and complete the realignment of the roadway, which, coupled with the state Department of Transportation’s plans to improve the Staten Island Expressway’s on- and off-ramps, is expected to ease traffic flow.

    This second phase, set to begin in 2011 and wrap up in 2014, will include construction of a new connector ramp leading from the Expressway directly onto the lower level of the bridge.

    Improvements are also planned at eight Expressway entrance and exit ramps nearest to the toll plaza, along with a realignment of the stretch of roadway where the highway and toll plaza meet the bridge.

    These fixes are expected to cut down on dangerous weaving maneuvers by drivers entering the bridge’s two levels.

    Also, the two-lane Fingerboard Road overpass will be replaced with a new, wider roadway including left-turn lanes, to improve traffic flow leading to and from the Verrazano.

    “This project marks the most significant changes in the physical design of the toll plaza since the lower level of the bridge was opened in June 1969,” said Jim Ferrara, acting president of MTA Bridges and Tunnels, which runs the Verrazano.

    “Removing these outdated, deteriorating structures that have not been used since 1986, when one-way tolling was instituted, will significantly improve traffic flow through the plaza and onto the bridge,” Ferrara said.

    “This is one part of a major transportation initiative funded with stimulus funding to a great extent that represents some of the most serious transportation investments in my memory,” Cappelli said.

    “I am pleased that the MTA has moved this project forward along with these federally funded improvements in an effort to facilitate the eastbound traffic for Staten Island commuters,” said Rep. Michael McMahon.

    Assemblyman Lou Tobacco hailed the news as the beginning of a series of improvements that will reduce traffic congestion and improve a frequently arduous commute for Islanders.

    “A quicker commute, less pollution and our construction workers back at work; this is a victory for Staten Island,” said state Sen. Diane Savino.



    http://www.silive.com/eastshore/inde...ra.html#_login

  2. #32
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    MTA moves ahead to get rid of Verrazano’s phantom toll booths

    By Andy Campbell

    One of the most frustrating ways to get into the borough is one step closer to being fixed, now that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has hired a contractor to remove the phantom toll booths on the Brooklyn-bound side of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

    Even though one-way tolling was instituted in 1986 — giving drivers a free ride into the Borough of Kings — unmanned toll booths have remained, forcing drivers to slow from highway speeds, slide through the booths and then re-accelerate as they make their way back to the promised land on the east side of the Narrows.

    The $2.5-million project kicks off in spring.

    “This work is really going to change the traffic flow,” MTA spokeswoman Joyce Mulvaney said — and she means it in a good way.

    The removal of most of the booths, which should be done by early 2011, is just the first step of a four-year project that will shift lanes, remove the remaining Brooklyn-bound toll booths, and build new connector ramps to and from the bridge to correct traffic problems.

    “When you’re pulling stuff out of the ground, it’s going to take some time,” Mulvaney said.

    The work is the most significant change to the toll plaza since the lower level of the bridge opened in 1969.

    http://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories...verrazano.html

  3. #33
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    MTA refutes claim on Verrazano Bridge

    Agency stresses that its youngest and longest span is one of its soundest physically and financially; statement comes in wake of watchdog group’s report.

    By Marine Cole



    Verrazano called NY's most dangerous bridge

    The Metropolitan Transportation Authority insisted Thursday that its longest and youngest bridge, the Verrazano-Narrows, is also one of its soundest.

    The comments came one day after the publication of a report on structurally deficient bridges across the country from Transportation for America, a coalition working toward transportation reform. An official at the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, a nonprofit that is part of the coalition, had labeled the Verrazano as the state’s “most dangerous” span.

    “The Verrazano-Narrows is completely safe and any suggestion otherwise is a gross misinterpretation of inspection records,” said a spokeswoman for the MTA, which operates the bridge. She also cited the most recent, 2010 inspection of the bridge, noting it concluded that it is “structurally sound with no red flags or imminent structural problems.” A red flag is an issue that needs to be addressed immediately. “It appears the data in the (Transportation for America) report came from a 2008 inspection,” she added.

    In recent years, the agency has spent hundreds of millions of dollars maintaining the span, which links Brooklyn and Staten Island. The agency has $620.5 million in its capital budget for future repairs and maintenance. That money comes from tolls on the bridge, currently $13 for motorists paying cash, and from the sale of Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority bonds backed by tolls.

    “Every bridge will have structural deficiencies, but it doesn’t mean it’s about to fall down,” the MTA spokeswoman said. She noted that the fact that the bridge has structural deficiencies and is the most trafficked in the state doesn’t make it the most dangerous. “It’s very alarmist," she said.

    Kate Slevin, the executive director of Tri-State Transportation Campaign, agreed with the MTA.

    “We don’t want to scare people,” she said. “The bridge is in need of repair but the numbers don’t show it as the most dangerous bridge.”

    http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article...ATE/110339971#

  4. #34
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Before the bridge was built, our own Guantanamo ...

    Fort Lafayette


    The Narrows and Fort Lafayette, Ships Coming Into Port (1868), by Samuel Colman

    Wikipedia

    Fort Lafayette was an island coastal fortification in the Narrows of New York Harbor, built offshore from Fort Hamilton at the southern tip of what is now Bay Ridge in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. The fort was built upon a natural island known as Hendrick's Reef.

    Construction on the fort began during the War of 1812 and was finally completed in 1818, the fort originally named Fort Diamond was renamed in 1825 to celebrate the Marquis de La Fayette, a hero of the American Revolution who was returning to his native France after his year-longgrand tour of the United States.

    Construction of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge caused the fort's destruction in 1960; the Brooklyn-side bridge pillars now occupy the fort's former foundation site.

    Civil War prison

    Before 1861, the fort's 72 heavy cannon commanded the primary approaches to the harbor, but during the Civil War, the casemates were used to house Confederate prisoners of war andpoliticians opposed to the administration's policies, detained under Abraham Lincoln's selective suspension of the writ of habeas corpus. Fort Lafayette came to be known as the "American Bastille".

    Robert Cobb Kennedy formerly a captain in the 1st Louisiana Regular Infantry CSA was one of the Confederate conspirators in the plot to burn New York on November 25, 1864 and was the only one caught. He was imprisoned and hanged at the fort on March 25, 1865. The plot to burn New York was to be retaliation for Sherman burning Atlanta.

    ***

    1858:
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    ***

    THE PLOT TO BURN NEW-YORK

    ARREST OF FOUR CONSPIRATORS. THEY ARE TO BE TRIED AS SPIES.

    COURT-MARTIAL AT FORT LAFAYETTE.


    Travels of a Hotel-Keeper. The Testimonial Business An Imposition on Ill.-Paid Clerks.

    NEW YORK TIMES
    January 17, 1865

    Gen. DIX and his subordinates have had an object in view in striving, as they have done since the night of the incendiary attempt to lay our city in ashes, to create the impression that they were making no movements with a view to the apprehension of the incendiaries. And the event proves their action to have been judicious at least, if not the most gratifying that the newsmongers could have conceived for, now that the vail has been partially lifted, we discover four prisoners against whom the accumulated proofs are said to be overwhelming, and learn that our officials have gathered such facts as will enable them, in due time, to establish a clear case against many another rebel who now reposes in fancied security.

    Immediately on promulgating the memorable order of Nov. 26, instructing military officers in the Department of the East to deal summarily with rebel raiders and incendiaries, Gen. DIX called Police Superintendent KENNEDY to aid him, and the Superintendent was authorized to employ such and as many men from his force as he might think proper. Mr. KENNEDY lost no time in detailing a number of his ablest detective policemen, and these, under the leadership of Chief Detective YOUNG, were promptly sent to the Canadian border, under instructions giving them discretionary power. The men had been absent a fortnight before any person remarked the circumstance; but at length their prolonged tarry naturally excited the curiosity of frequenters at the Central Department of the Metropolitan Police; yet the secret was well kept, and not until the officers had reached town with their prisoners, and seen them securely boiled within the walls of Fort Lafayette, did a lisp escape his lips.

    Chief YOUNG and his men went hence direct to the Canada line, and put themselves in communication with the detective officers in the chief cities from Lewiston, New-York, to Port Huron, Michigan; and having done this, they separated, but were careful to keep within telegraphic ball of one another -- some going into Canada, and others remaining on our side of the line. The secret having been entrusted to the authorities on the border, these gentlemen entered into the work with much spirit, keeping an eye upon persons whom they suspected, giving our officers now and then a useful hint, tendering them speedy transportation to such points as it seemed desirable to reach, and, in short, aiding them in every way that lay within their power.

    Nearly a fortnight passed in apparently fruitless search; not altogether fruitless, however, since every day's wandering paved the way toward the object which our officers had ultimately in view. So they groped onward patiently -- now in the gaming houses, now in the bar-rooms and drawing-rooms of rebel-haunted houses of entertainment, now here and then there; indeed, making themselves almost ubiquitous, until at the opening of the third week they struck the trail of the rebel Capt. BELL, and a party of his satellites. BELL was flourishing at a fashionable Canadian hotel, under the pseudonym of Baker; but, unluckily for him, there were loyal citizens of the United States at his elbow who knew him too well, and they contrived a plan to get him over the line, and then, dissemblance being no longer necessary, they revealed their knowledge, and delivered him into the hands of Detective YOUNG and his assistants.

    The apprehension of Capt. BELL was followed in brief time by the capture of three other rebels, one of whom is known to have been engaged in the attempt to burn our hotels on the night of Nov. 25. The prisoners were found passing under names which they assumed for the occasion; but their real names are known, and are to be given to the public whenever Gen. DIX shall have made other arrests which the capture of these rebel emissaries has rendered necessary.

    A general court-martial is to be convened immediately, at Fort Lafayette ...

    ***

    A VAST AND FIENDISH PLOT

    By Clint Johnson
    Publication Date:
    March 1, 2010

    New York City, November 25, 1864. Confederate officers attempt to destroy the city with a series of lethal fires that will forever diminish it to a mere speck of an island. What fueled these Southern patriots' rage? And what if they had succeeded?

    This terrifying scenario almost became a reality following what the New York Herald declared "a vast and fiendish plot." Infuriated by the Union's killing of their beloved General John Hunt Morgan and the burning of the Shenandoah Valley, eight Confederate officers swore revenge. Their method: Greek fire. Their target: Manhattan's commercial district. The daring mission could have changed the course of American history.

    In the first book to bring to life this bold conspiracy in full detail, Civil War expert Clint Johnson reveals shocking facts about the treacherous alliances and rivalries that threatened nineteenth-century America. Here is the truth about this stunning event, the spirit that fueled it, and the near destruction of the world's most influential city.






  5. #35
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Good idea IMO, particularly for pedestrians.

    “It’s sheer unadulterated idiocy,” said Community Board 10 member and driving advocate Allen Bortnik, who fears car lanes would be affected.



    Cyclists push for Verrazano bike lane

    By Natalie Musumeci

    Getting to Staten Island won’t require as many wheels as it used to if a group of cycling advocates gets its way.

    Pedal-pushers are pushing to add a bike and pedestrian path to the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, a vital motorist-only connection between Brooklyn and Staten Island that currently boasts 12 lanes for cars and none for velocipedes.

    “Support of the path would provide a much needed toll-free option that would benefit the health, emergency access, and economic viability of neighboring communities,” activists wrote on a Change.org petition put up by a steering committee for Harbor Ring, a proposed 50-mile route for walkers and bicyclists that would connect the waterfronts encircling New York Harbor.

    More than 28 miles of the route is already in place due to existing paths and bikeways, but one critical missing link is the 49-year-old bridge, claim advocates who believe a Verrazano path is a much-needed connection between the two boroughs.

    “We are well past the notion that cars are the only way to get around,” said Harbor Ring committee member and Cobble Hill resident Dave Paco Abraham. “It’s a matter of fairness to the people who either can’t afford a car or simply do not have a car.”

    The bike boosters — backed by cycling advocacy group Transportation Alternatives and Regional Plan Association — are calling on Gov. Cuomo to hop onboard their proposal for a lane running across the 4,260-foot span.

    They’re not the first people to call for a bike path across the bridge: the Department of City Planning commissioned a 1997 feasibility study by Verrazano engineers Ammann & Whitney, who determined that a route could be built without removing a single lane of automotive traffic.

    But building a platform between the suspension cables — not unlike the Brooklyn Bridge’s bustling pedestrian and cycling area — wouldn’t be cheap. The study estimated a total build-out at $26.5 million.

    A spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority — the agency that operates the Verrazano — said a cycling route was never part of the original plan for the bridge, despite rumors of the contrary, and noted that transit planners are considering conducting their own feasibility study, which would not begin until 2014 or later.

    “MTA Bridges and Tunnels is considering this issue as part of a future Belt Parkway ramp reconstruction project,” said spokeswoman Judie Glave.

    The bridge is only open to bikers and bipeds twice per year: once for the Five Boro Bike Tour and again during the New York City Marathon.

    Abraham, who savors crossing the bridge on his two-wheeler during the bike tour, said that he can tell from the way photo-snapping cyclists react when they hit the bridge that a year-round pathway would be a big attraction.

    “This could be a huge boost to New York City on a tourism level,” said the avid bike rider. “You can see sweeping views of all of Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty, of Brooklyn, of New Jersey — it’s really just breathtaking.”

    Bike backers gathered 924 signatures as press time, but not everyone is gung-ho for a walking and biking route over the Narrows.

    “It’s sheer unadulterated idiocy,” said Community Board 10 member and driving advocate Allen Bortnik, who fears car lanes would be affected. “There are certain places bike lanes do not belong — it is a major thoroughfare.”

    http://www.brooklyndaily.com/stories..._04_05_bk.html

  6. #36
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    For some reason I thought this was for the TZB.

    I was thinking "wow, that's a long way to walk..."


    Durf.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjahedge View Post
    For some reason I thought this was for the TZB.

    I was thinking "wow, that's a long way to walk..."


    Durf.
    Its still a decent walk between Transit lines , about 4 miles between the Staten Island Railroad Grasmere stop and the R train at 95th Street.

  8. #38

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    I don't think the viability is for a pedestrian-commute across the bridge to link mass transit, but more the experience of walking across the bridge.

    A bike-commute is reasonable.

  9. #39
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Pedestrian would only be for joggers, not "walkers".

    Come to think of it, a lot of people bike up and around the area on the NJ side from the Lincoln Tunnel all the way up the Palisades Parkway... so maybe a bike lane on the TZB would make sense...

  10. #40
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  11. #41

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    Mama mia! The "Guinea Gangplank" celebrates its 50th birthday this year. There was an elderly fellow on one of the morning shows the other day. He and his friends were in the first car to cross the bridge when it opened. There were about 7 of them piled in, and they took turns waiting in the car because they showed up a week before it opened.

    USPS Debuts Verrazano Narrows Bridge Stamp For 50th Anniversary

    by Ned Berke on Mar 13th, 2014Source: USPS

    The United States Postal Service issued a brand new stamp depicting the Verrazano Narrows Bridge on March 4, commemorating the 50th anniversary of one of the world’s largest suspension bridges.
    From the postal service’s description:
    [T]he stamp captures the grandeur of the Verrazano, not only showing its sheer size and scale, but also giving a sense of the sweeping curve of the double-decker roadway. The artist chose to showcase the bridge at twilight, which offers an interesting play of light and shadow.
    Not to mention that sunrises and sunsets are the best times to view the iconic bridge, so it’s no surprise that illustrator Dan Cosgrove chose to capture it then.
    1964 Verrazano stamp


    The 4,260-foot-long, 690-foot-tall bridge opened on November 21, 1964, the longest suspension bridge in the world at the time (it remains the longest in the Americas today). It’s named for Giovanni da Verrazzano, an Italian explorer credited with discovering New York Bay in 1524. He was leading what was believed to be the first exploration by Europeans of the North American northeast coastline since the Norse expeditions more than 500 years earlier.

    It’s not the first time the bridge has graced postage. On the occasion of the bridge’s opening, the USPS issued a 5-cent stamp. And in 2006, a stamp featuring the bridge was issued as part of the “Wonders of America” series.
    The stamp itself is neither a forever stamp or a standard 49-cent stamp, but comes in at a whopping $5.60. It’s fitting, given that it depicts the bridge with the highest toll in the nation. We wonder if Staten Islanders will get a discount.

    http://www.bensonhurstbean.com/2014/...h-anniversary/

  12. #42
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    Funny how they got the name wrong considering it was named after Giovanni da Verrazzano (two z's).

  13. #43
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    No cyclists, please!


    Pedestrian Lane Sought for Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

    By MATT A.V. CHABAN


    A path on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge would complete a 50-mile route, being called Harbor Ring, around New York Harbor.
    Todd Heisler/The New York Times


    When the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge opened almost 50 years ago, about 100,000 vehicles and zero pedestrians made the inaugural crossing. Today the daily number of cars and trucks on the bridge has nearly doubled, even as tolls have risen twentyfold.Yet the number of people crossing the four-mile bridge on foot has never changed: zero. The same goes for cyclists, who over the past decade have increased their presence on New York City’s bridges. In fact, the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge is among the few major crossings in the metropolitan area without a lane for pedestrians and bicyclists (along with the Bronx-Whitestone and Throgs Neck).

    Now, on the occasion of the Verrazano’s semicentennial, a group of cyclists, transportation advocates and residents on both sides of the bridge are leading a grass-roots-and-pavement campaign to add a pedestrian path. Their hope is to reverse a half-century of four-wheeled favoritism and persuade the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to include the path among its planned upgrades on the bridge.

    “It’s not just a gimmick anymore,” said Paul Gertner, a cyclist from Brooklyn and a leader of the cause. “If you look at how attitudes around the city have changed, expectations about mobility and safety, we see it as an inevitability.”

    The effort goes well beyond the bridge, though — by about 46 miles.

    The activists are campaigning for what they call the Harbor Ring, a roughly 50-mile route that circumnavigates the waterfronts of three boroughs and New Jersey. Starting in Staten Island, it crosses the Bayonne Bridge, heads up the New Jersey Gold Coast to Weehawken, onto a ferry to West 39th Street in Manhattan, down the Hudson River Greenway and the Battery, over the Brooklyn Bridge, and finishes on the waterfront in Brooklyn from Red Hook to Bay Ridge.

    With booming bike use on both sides of both rivers, the only missing link is the Verrazano.

    Not that the Harbor Ring is strictly about transportation.

    “We think of this as a matter of infrastructure, one that can promote tourism across the city,” said David Wenger, a lawyer who bikes by the bridge every morning on his way from Brighton Beach to work in Midtown Manhattan. He and Mr. Gertner are board members of the Harbor Ring Committee, which is holding a rally on Saturday.

    There is added urgency to their push. Last November, the transportation authority began a feasibility study, which covers new approach roads and ramps in Brooklyn, as well as other structural issues in addition to the bike path. The study will not be completed until 2016, but transit advocates have already expressed concern that there have been no public hearings on the plans.

    “The study is in the early stages, and findings will be shared with the public at the appropriate time,” Judie Glave, a transportation authority spokeswoman, said.

    The agency is also in a tight financial situation, with a $32 billion capital plan that is only half-funded at this time. Even if a pathway is a fraction of a percent of that amount (advocates place it between $40 million and $50 million), it could easily be sacrificed for other investments.

    A pathway was part of the original plan for the bridge, the final project of the master builder Robert Moses’ career, but he gave similar budget concerns for eliminating it.

    This led to protests when the bridge opened on Nov. 23, 1964, according to an account in The New York Times, and cyclists led the charge then, too. Dozens tried to cross the bridge from the Brooklyn side, leading to their arrest. There were also protests during the 25th anniversary of the bridge and a study in 1997 by the bridge’s original engineer, Amman & Whitney, which put the cost of a path at $25 million.

    But the New York of today is considerably different. Thousands of miles of bike lanes have been installed over the past decade, and the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio is pushing for roads that are safer for all users. New tourist attractions are on the horizon on Staten Island, including a giant Ferris wheel and an outlet mall in St. George. There are also public safety concerns, prompted by crowded roads and ferries in the aftermath of such events as Hurricane Sandy and the Sept. 11 attack.

    The Staten Island borough president, James S. Oddo, has lent his support to the project. His predecessor, James Molinaro, had rejected the plan, calling it “ridiculous” with too few riders. Mr. Oddo said that so long as the pathway was not too expensive and did not impede traffic, it could be a boon for his borough.

    “Allowing pedestrians and bike riders to utilize the bridge would provide an exciting new option for residents to combat our rising obesity epidemic or get to work,” he said in an email, noting that some could even ride to the R train in Bay Ridge. “Who wouldn’t want to walk over this iconic structure and get a unique view of New York Harbor?”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/17/ny...s&emc=rss&_r=0

  14. #44

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    We need pedestrian lanes for the George Washington and Ed Koch bridges as well.

  15. #45

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    There is a pedestrian lane on the GWB, and did they build a new bridge and name it for Ed Koch?





    (and yes, i know they renamed the Queesnsborough)
    Quote Originally Posted by EastMillinocket View Post
    We need pedestrian lanes for the George Washington and Ed Koch bridges as well.

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