The city was hit with such extreme winds on Monday that the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge was shut down as a safety precaution. The Verrazzano, the longest bridge in the city, closed both its upper and lower portions to traffic for various parts of the day as a result, something which is relatively rare. Also relatively rare: getting to watch the bridge reenact scenes from a Christopher Nolan movie.
You can see the bridge swaying and braying in the wind in the video below. The way the bridge is "breathing" reminds me of something from David Cronenberg's Videodrome or the second Ghostbusters movie. In other words, it is everything that we could have hoped from practical FX from the '80s. And to top it off, the movement of the bridge sounds like a Hans Zimmer musical cue from Inception.
Of course, the fact that the suspension bridge is acting in this way is completely normal—this is how they've supposed to respond in extreme conditions, as opposed to more rigid structures. You can learn more about the Port Authority's extreme weather planning here.
The bridge first banned all empty trucks and tractor trailer vehicles around 10 a.m. yesterday, and closed the upper level around the same time. Then just after 2 p.m., the lower level was closed; it had a staggered reopening starting a little over an hour later.
The bridge wasn't the only part of the city affected by the winds—though extreme weather is certainly among the bigger deterrents to the city continuing outdoor dining (though perhaps not as bad as rising COVID rates, the state potentially pausing all dining-in, cars crashing into outdoor areas, etc).
And here's what they sounded like from the top of the World Trade Center.
The bridge is not only back fully open on Tuesday—it also now has split tolling for the first time since 1986, meaning that whichever way you're headed, you'll now pay half as much (just twice as many times). You can learn more about that here.