The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, which is visible from the Staten Island Ferry portion of The New York Party Shuttle tour, was also once the longest suspension bridge in the world. Today it proves a vital connection between Brooklyn and Staten Island. Without it, the Staten Island Ferry would be the only way of reaching the Island, which is actually New York City’s fastest growing borough.
Though it was proposed in 1926, political opposition held off the groundbreaking until 1959. The bridge was named after Giovanni da Verrazano, a Florentine explorer funded by the king of France, who was the first European to enter New York harbor. He wrote glowingly of his 1524 trip, enthusiastically describing the land and the welcome offered by the Native Americans. He actually explored New York Harbor 85 years before Henry Hudson.
The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge is still the sixth longest suspension bridge in the world. It is so large the curvature of the Earth was actually a factor in its construction. It is also larger than the Golden Gate Bridge. The views afforded by this bridge include all of New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty, New Jersey 10 miles away, and out past Coney Island the expanse of the Atlantic Ocean. Today the New York City Marathon starts on the Staten Island side of the bridge. The bridge can be reached from the Brooklyn side by way of the Belt Parkway.
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