George Washington Bridge
|Locale||Fort Lee, New Jersey, and New York City (Washington Heights, Manhattan), New York, United States|
|Maintained by||Port Authority of New York and New Jersey|
|Design||Double-decked suspension bridge|
|Total length||4,760 ft (1,450 m)|
|Width||119 ft (36 m)|
|Height||604 ft (184 m)|
|Longest span||3,500 ft (1,067 m)|
|Clearance above||14 ft (4.3 m) (upper level), 13.5 ft (4.1 m) (lower level)|
|Clearance below||212 ft (65 m) at mid-span|
|Designer||Othmar Ammann (chief engineer)|
Edward W. Stearns (assistant chief engineer)
Allston Dana (design engineer)
Cass Gilbert (architect)
Montgomery Case (construction engineer)
|Construction start||September 21, 1927 (bridge construction)|
June 2, 1959 (lower level)
|Opened||October 24, 1931 (upper level)|
August 29, 1962 (lower level)
|Daily traffic||289,827 (2016)|
|Toll||(Eastbound only) As of August 29, 2019:|
Location within New Jersey and New York
The George Washington Bridge is a double-decked suspension bridge spanning the Hudson River, connecting the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City with the borough of Fort Lee in New Jersey. The bridge is named after George Washington, the first President of the United States. The George Washington Bridge is the world's busiest motor vehicle bridge, carrying over 103 million vehicles per year in 2016[update].[a] It is owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, a bi-state government agency that operates infrastructure in the Port of New York and New Jersey. The George Washington Bridge is also informally known as the GW Bridge, the GWB, the GW, or the George, and was known as the Fort Lee Bridge or Hudson River Bridge during construction.
The idea of a bridge across the Hudson River was first proposed in 1906, but it was not until 1925 that the state legislatures of New York and New Jersey voted to allow for the planning and construction of such a bridge. Construction on the George Washington Bridge started in October 1927; the bridge was ceremonially dedicated on October 24, 1931, and opened to traffic the next day. The opening of the George Washington Bridge contributed to the development of Bergen County, New Jersey, in which Fort Lee is located. The upper deck was widened from six to eight lanes in 1946. The six-lane lower deck was constructed beneath the existing span from 1958 to 1962 because of increasing traffic flow.
The George Washington Bridge is an important travel corridor within the New York metropolitan area. It has an upper level that carries four lanes in each direction and a lower level with three lanes in each direction, for a total of 14 lanes of travel. The speed limit on the bridge is 45 mph (72 km/h). The bridge's upper level also carries pedestrian and bicycle traffic. Interstate 95 (I-95) and U.S. Route 1/9 (US 1/9, composed of US 1 and US 9) cross the river via the bridge. US 46, which lies entirely within New Jersey, terminates halfway across the bridge at the state border with New York. At its eastern terminus in New York City, the bridge continues onto the Trans-Manhattan Expressway (part of I-95, connecting to the Cross Bronx Expressway).
The George Washington Bridge measures 4,760 feet (1,450 m) long and has a main span of 3,500 feet (1,100 m). It had the longest main bridge span in the world at the time of its opening and held that distinction until the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge in 1937.
The George Washington Bridge was designed by chief civil engineer Othmar Ammann, design engineer Allston Dana, and assistant chief engineer Edward W. Stearns,:163 with Cass Gilbert as consulting architect.:43, 1