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The George Washington Bridge

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Fort Washington Ave. at 178th St., New York, NY 10033 40.848662 -73.93925
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Photo by Jed Egan

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A at 175th St.


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This 4,760-foot bridge connecting upper Manhattan’s Washington Heights to New Jersey is one of the most famous bridges in the United States. Completed and opened to traffic in October 1931, the suspension bridge, which towers 604 feet over the surface of the Hudson River below, now carries more than 100 million vehicles to and from New York City each year. The Port Authority’s Chief Engineer, Othmar H. Ammann, designed the bridge, and its initial construction—consisting only of the upper level—took nearly four years to complete. The lower level wasn’t completed until August 1962; Ammann stayed on as a consultant through this phase of construction. The bridge’s four suspension cables stretch nearly one mile each and have a diameter of three feet. Each of the bridge’s two 43,000-ton steel towers along with the suspension cables are illuminated at night, setting the entire bridge aglow. The lights along the cables, or the “diamond necklace,” were added for the World’s Fair in 1964. Seventeen years later, in 1981, the bridge was designated as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.

Foot Traffic

On both sides of the upper level, pedestrians and bicyclist can transverse the bridge's  pedestrian walkway and take in one-of-a-kind views of upper Manhattan and the Jersey City skyline.

The American Flag
Flown under the western tower of the bridge, the flag is the world’s largest free-flying version of the stars and stripes, measuring 90 feet from end to end and boasting four-foot stars and five-foot stripes. Look for the flag on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, and Veterans Day.


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