Modern Architecture

George Washington Bridge When Fully Lit

Photo by Dark Cyanide

Built with a single deck (opening in 1931), a lower deck was added in 1962, making the George Washington Bridge the world’s only 14-lane suspension bridge. With over 105 million vehicles crossing per year, it is the busiest motor vehicle bridge in the world. While notorious for traffic jams either on the New Jersey side in Fort Lee or on the New York side, the George Washington Bridge is simply beautiful, though it was not originally intended to showcase its steel structure. The bridge’s principal designer, Swiss-born engineer and architect Othmar Ammann, has a notable legacy in New York City including the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge, Lincoln Tunnel, and Triborough Bridge (now Robert F. Kennedy Bridge).

Views of the bridge’s towers grace the Heights. If you drive along the Henry Hudson Parkway, walk or bike along the Hudson River Greenway, or stroll through Fort Tryon Park, you can see nearly the entire span and towers. An especial visual treat when illuminated at night, the George Washington Bridge also sports the world’s largest free-flying American flag ten days a year, including Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Independence Day.