George Washington Bridge


George Washington Bridge, New York City and Fort Lee, NJThe George Washington Bridge crosses the Hudson River between Fort Lee, NJ and Upper Manhattan in New York City, constituting a part of Interstate Highway I-95. Originally designed by Swiss-American engineer Othmar H. Ammann, then-Chief Engineer for the Port Authority, ground was broken for the original six-lane bridge in October of 1927. The bridge was first opened to traffic on October 25, 1931; however, volume required that two additional lanes be created in 1946.

As the traffic volume continued to grow, on August 29, 1962, the Lower Level was opened. This made the George Washington Bridge one of the world’s busiest bridges and the world’s only 14-lane suspension bridge. In 1981, the American Society of Civil Engineers designated the GWB as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.

Two 3-lane approach and departure roadways serve the Lower Level, with connections to and from the GWB via two 3-lane tunnels through the Palisades. Two 4-lane approach and departure roadways connect to the Upper Level. New Jersey approaches to both levels of the Bridge include US-1, US-9W, US-46, NJ-4, I-80, I-95, and the Palisades Interstate Parkway.


George Washington Bridge Trivia!

Enjoy trivia? Then click here for some fascinating and fun stories about the world’s busiest bridge!


George Washington Bridge Historical Images Gallery

Fort Lee Online is pleased to bring you these exclusive historical images of the Bridge’s past. These photos include the Bridge in its construction phases, as well as its momentous grand opening. Thanks to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for their generosity in sharing these classic photos with our community.

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1st Cross River Survey
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Laying the Foundation
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NJ Approach Cut
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Raising of the Towers
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Setting Footbridge Sections
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Handling Carriage
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Near Completion
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October 24, 1931
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Dedication Ceremonies
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Dignataries’ Podium
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NY Governor F.D.R.
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Opening Day 10/25/31
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Opening Day Traffic
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Othmar Ammann
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1940
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Still One Level
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Little Red Lighthouse
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1960s
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New Jersey Approach
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The Modern Bridge


Interesting Bridge Data:

Opened to traffic: October 25, 1931
Lower Level opened: August 29, 1962
Bus Station opened: January 17, 1963

Length: 4,760 feet or 1,451 meters (between anchorages)
Length of center span: 3,500 feet or 1,067 meters
Width: 119 feet or 36 meters
Width of roadway: 90 feet or 27 meters
Height restrictions, Lower Level: 13' 6"
Height of tower above water: 604 feet
Water clearance at mid-span: 212 feet or 65 meters

The Upper Level is suspended from four steel cables, each 36 inches in diameter and composed of 26,474 wires. The cables are carried by saddles on top of two 604-foot-high steel towers.

On the New Jersey side, the tower rises out of the river 76 feet from shore; on the New York side, the tower stands on land.

Number of lanes:
Upper Level = 8 + 2 footways
Lower Level = 6

Original cost: $59,000,000

Traffic Volume - Eastbound toward NYC (1999)
Typical weekday traffic: 151,685
Total annual traffic: 53,417,768


George Washington Bridge Profile


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