New York’s Best Bridges

When navigating between NYC’s five boroughs, traveling across New York waters at some point is inevitable. That's why New York City has a considerable number of well known historical bridges that connect NYC’s boroughs.

Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge is likely the most famous of all the New York bridges and connects the borough of Brooklyn to Manhattan. When it opened in 1883, it was at the time, the longest suspension bridge in the world. At 1,597 feet, and is now listed as a certified historic monument. The bridge was designed by German engineer John Roebling in the latter 1860s, though he sadly didn’t live long enough to see it completed. Roebling’s son, also an engineer, usurped the building of the Brooklyn bridge to continue his father’s legacy.

Queensboro Bridge

One of most busy bridges in N. Y is the Queensboro bridge, which connects Queens to Manhattan. This five-span cantilever bridge sees around 180,000 motorists cross every year, with thousands of pedestrians and cycle riders. Built between 1901 and 1909, it was a collaboration between engineer Gustav Lindenthal and designer Henry Hornbostel. Comprising of seventy-five thousand tons of steel, the project cost $18 million and was at a previous time the longest cantilever bridge in the U.S.

Manhattan Bridge

Most Manhattan Bridges are suspension bridges and the Manhattan bridge isn't an exception. Opened in 1909, it connects Manhattan to Brooklyn and spans 1,470 feet across the East Brook. Costing $31 million, the bridge was at first designed for trains and streetcars, but auto lanes replaced the street cars in the 1940s. The entrance arches to the bridge were famously influenced by the Porte St. Dennis in Paris and designed by Carrere and Hastings, the firm behind the New York Public Library.

Williamsburg Bridge

Also spanning between Brooklyn and Manhattan, the Williamsburg Bridge is one of the busiest bridges in New York. Over 140,000 motorists use the bridge each year along with loads of cycle riders and walkers. When it opened in 1903 it said the title of longest suspension bridge span in the world at 1,600 feet, just beating out the Brooklyn Bridge. Like the Queensboro Bridge, Williamsburg was designed by Lindenthal.

George Washington Bridge

The George Washington Bridge connects Long Island to New Jersey across the Hudson River. When the George Washington opened in 1931 the bridge was twice as long as any other suspension bridge of the time at 4,760 feet. Today the Washington bridge sees over 52 million autos cross its span every year. A man named Othmar Ammann, a Swiss designer, who designed the bridge after a century-long search for a suitable design.

Shawn Pratten has been interested in New York bridges for a number of years. He has written op-eds and editorial pieces for many online publications. For more information, come visit his site at

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