Another day, another Bridgeversary! This Saturday the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge turns a youthful 45 years old.
The folks at Inside the Apple have a full history, noting that when it opened in 1964, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world. The bridge connects Staten Island to Bay Ridge (or Yellow Hook), and was the "last major arterial road in Robert Moses's grand plan to connect all of New York by automobile."
And where there's Moses, there's controversy. Allegedly Staten Islanders were worried the easy access would ruin their rural charm, while some Bay Ridge residents were displaced by the construction. Fort Lafayette, an island coastal fortification in New York Harbor, was also destroyed during construction. And then there was the name...
The Staten Island Chamber of Commerce didn't want to honor Giovanni da Verrazzano, who they said was "a foreigner who made a navigational mistake." Moses got his way, however, making a slight compromise by also including the name of the body of water it crossed.