USA: New York – Bridges
New York consists of five parts – Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. Only one of them, Bronx, is located on mainland. Other districts are situated on islands; Manhattan and Staten Islands are on individual islands. Queens and Brooklyn are located on one common island. The city districts are separated with water crossed by about 60 bridges.
14 of them bridges lead on the island of Manhattan. I like bridges very much and, indeed, I enjoyed them in New York very much. Everyone is different. I wanted to have a close look of all and I really had managed to do so. Some of them, when it was possible, I had walked across, some I had regularly crossed by car and some I had observed from distance at least...
Perhaps the most known bridge in New York is Brooklyn Bridge. It arches above the
East River and connects southeast Manhattan with Brooklyn. It is about half a kilometer long and it used to be the world’s longest hanging bridge in the time of its completion
. Compared to other New York bridges, Brooklyn Bridge is real architectonic gem. Promenade is located in the bridge’s center and cars are cruising beneath the promenade. Well, it is not particularly a healthy walk there and I observed runners with headphones plugged into their ears who thought they were doing something beneficial for their health…
Near Brooklyn Bridge towards north you won’t miss another famous bridge – Manhatan Bridge that crosses the same river and connects same districts, namely Manhattan’s China Town and Brooklyn. It is a hanging chain bridge, it is of blue color and notably longer than Brooklyn Bridge. On the upper part of the bridge there are two lanes in both directions. Under the road there are the NY subway rails, similar to Nuselsky Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic. But unlike Nuselsky Bridge, subway in Manhattan Bridge isn’t hidden “tube” and you can easily see it, for example from Brooklyn Bridge. Pedestrian path and bike trail is situated in the bottom part of the bridge. While crossing the bridge note beautiful view of Brooklyn Bridge and south Manhattan.
When we move northwards we will see Queensboro Bridge, also known as 59th Street Bridge according to the Manhattan’s street number. Tue bridge connects Manhattan and Long Island City in the district of Queens. The bridge also arches over Roosvelt Island – a narrow small bridge on the East River. It is interesting that you can’t access Roosevelt Island from Quensboro Bridge, the only way how to get there is by hanging cableway. Queensboro Bridge is the main motif of Simon and Garfunkel’s ballad Bridge over Troubled Water.
Lets leave east Manhattan and move to its northwest part. There you simply couldn’t miss the only bridge hanging over the Hudson River. The bridge connects west Manhattan with neighboring state of New Jersey. The bridge was named after George Washington , the first US president. Logically, the George Washington Bridge is considered one of the busiest bridges in the world and it has the largest automobile capacity in the world. There are two floors for car, the upper floor has four lanes in each direction and the bottom three lanes. This is 14 lanes in total and also a pedestrian path on both sides of the bridge. I had walked across the bridge as well as I passed it by car. I and my friends had had a walk trip from Manhattan to New Jersey and back for we could see panorama of Manhattan during sunset. I had crossed the bridge in both directions twice and twice I had used the upper floor. I wouldn’t even dare to get into its busy traffic, however, I had to travel to the Newark Airport located in New Jersey. The fact that I successfully crossed the bridge I consider the be the peak of my driving skills. Luckily enough, after months of training on American highways I had enough confidence and courage as well.
Except Manhattan Verrazano-Narrows Bridge is worth mentioning. It crosses Narrows between Brooklyn and State island. It is the largest hanging bridge in the world, it is 1300 meters long. Its name comes from the name of the first European who stepped on the land which is now one of the larges cities in the world. It was Italian Giovanni da Verrazzano who discovered New York Bay. Like George Washington Bridge the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge has two floors and is for car use only. You can’t cross it on foot. So I decided to visit adjacent park in south Brooklyn where I had a beautiful view of the whole bridge.
Verrazano-Narrows Bridge is the only connection for State Island with other New York districts. As majority of locals works on Manhattan it is complicated for them to travel between these two islands, despite there neighbor. Direct connection provides ferry boat cruising between State Island and south Manhattan. An interesting fact is that ferry is for free and the ride itself is great experience for you would have great view of south Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty.
One time every year Verrazano-Narrows Bridge closes and cars are replaced by runners. New York marathon starts at State Island and it is held every first Sunday in November. It is the world’s largest marathon the first phase of which is Verrazano-Narrows Bridge crossing.
Those are New York’s most famous bridges the whole world knows about. If you plan to have a longer stay in New York and travel there by car you will see many of them. All of them are long, beautiful and gigantic as is usual in America…
Text/photo: Pavlína Rouhová
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