The George Washington Bridge is a well known suspension bridge that spans the Hudson River to connect Fort Lee, New Jersey, and Washington Heights, New York City. The bridge has 2 levels and a total of 14 lanes for vehicle travel, along with paths for pedestrian and bicycle traffic. It can carry more vehicles than any other bridge in the world and it is reported to be the world’s busiest vehicle bridge with more than 106 million vehicles making the trip each year. The bridge is also a popular landmark and has been described as one of the most beautiful bridges in the world. Let’s find out who designed this structure.
Who designed the George Washington Bridge?
The George Washington Bridge was designed by Swiss-American structural engineer Cass Gilbert and American architect Othmar Ammann (who was also the chief engineer of the project). The first work on the project began in October 1927 and was opened almost exactly 4 years later. At the time of opening it became the longest suspension bridge in the world until the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge in 1937. The lower deck of the bridge, which was described in Ammanns plans, was opened to the public in 1962 after approval by Lt Col Joseph R McCammon from the US Army Corps of Engineers.
Did you know?
The bridge was initially called the Hudson River Bridge, but was renamed the George Washington Bridge in honor of the first President. It is a very suitable name because the bridge is near the fortified locations, Fort Washington and Fort Lee, used by Washington to try and prevent British occupation of New York City during the Revolutionary War.
Unfortunately, the George Washington Bridge has the unwanted title of being one of the most common sites for committing suicide. There have been more than 230 suicides since the bridge was opened!