12 Most Famous Bridges You Must See In New York City

Since 1624, New York, or what was previously known as New Amsterdam, has become one of the most famous cities in the world. It is now the center for culture, art, fashion, and food for the entire world.

As millions of people flock to New York City every year, there are some sights that you simply have to see.

12 Most Famous & Interesting Bridges In New York City You Must See

Divided into 5 boroughs, there are endless attractions to be done. Including seeing some incredible bridges. 

With almost two thousand bridges connecting the people of New York, you simply don’t have time to see them all. Below are X famous bridges in New York City that will only elevate your visit! 

1. Brooklyn Bridge

Not only is the Brooklyn Bridge a famous bridge in New York City, but it is also one of the most famous bridges in the world. 

This massive engineering marvel of the contemporary era links Brooklyn’s northern region to Manhattan’s financial sector.

The skyline of New York City now includes its sturdy granite buildings and steel suspension cables.

The Brooklyn Bridge has been standing for almost 140 years, and with an estimated 150,00 vehicles and pedestrians crossing everyday, it is busy at all times of the day.

First established by German immigrant, John Augustus Roebling, the bridge would not be complete until 15 years later in 1883 by his son and wife. 

Today, the Brooklyn Bridge continues to be one of the world’s most famous landmarks.

Many visit the walk bridge which has various forms of entertainment and many vendors offering small trinkets and keepsakes for you to purchase. 

Venture from mainland New York City to Brooklyn in just 20 minutes over this incredible bridge. 

2. Queensboro Bridge

The Queensboro Bridge connects the Upper East Side of Manhattan to Long Island City in the borough of Queens. It is the northernmost of the three New York bridges that span the Lower East River.

Alongside this majestic bridge runs the Roosevelt Island Tramway which can transport you from Manhattan to Roosevelt Island in no time.

As a tourist, the Tramway will allow you to enjoy a stunning view of the Midtown Manhattan skyline. Or simply take you from A to B as quickly as possible. 

The Queensboro Bridge has been featured in various films and continues to be one of the most picturesque bridges on the Island.

Many use the walk bridge for road biking, running, or for a nice stroll with an even more incredible view. 

With its incredible structure and mind-blowing beauty, The Ed Kock Queensboro Bridge was declared a national landmark on November 23, 1973. 

3. George Washington Bridge

The Hudson River’s George Washington Bridge connects Fort Lee, New Jersey, with the northwest corner of Manhattan.

The bridge, which bears the name of the first American President, is often regarded as the busiest in the world, with well over 100 million cars passing over it annually.

Construction of the George Washington Bridge began in 1927 and was completed in 1931 with a single deck for vehicles. However, as traffic increased, another deck was added in 1962. 

While the George Washington Bridge held the place for the longest bridge until he construction of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, it is still one of the busiest bridges in the world. 

It was the wonder of its time, lasting twice as long as any other suspension bridge, and, to some, it will always be the most magnificent of all bridges.

Before the renowned Swiss-born architect and engineer Othmar Ammann offered a bridge design in 1923 that finally was chosen above all others, planners and engineers had been faced with the issue of spanning the river to connect New York City and New Jersey for more than 100 years.

4. Hell Gate Bridge

Of all the well-known bridges in New York City, the Hell Gate Bridge has the most unique design. It crosses the Hudson River strait known as Hell Gate with train traffic.

This links the Randalls and Wards Islands in Manhattan with the Astoria area in Queens.

Named after the hundreds of ships that failed to cross the shallow channel due to strong currents and rocky reefs. Many sailors awaited death or extreme conditions as they attempted to cross the river. 

The building, which measures 1,017 feet (310 meters) in length, was finished between 1912 and 1917.

Both the Tyne Bridge in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England, and the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Sydney, Australia, took their design cues from the bridge’s unusual tied-arch construction.

Today you can walk the Hell Gate Pathway that runs through the iconic arcade and enjoy the many amusements available as you pass through.

You can also hike up or down the Hell Gate and be welcomed by ice cream shops, restaurants, and other attractions. 

5. Robert F. Kennedy Bridge

Another well-known bridge in New York City that bears the name of a well-known politician is the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge.

It joins Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx, three of the five boroughs of New York City, and is still often known as the Triborough Bridge.

Many locals and tourists take the time to visit the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge at night time.

Once the sun has set the bridge becomes illuminated and is perfect for breathtaking views, perfect for increasing your likes on Instagram. 

This impressive bridge complex was finished in 1936, and in 1986 it was designated as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.

If you are looking to take a stroll across the bridge, a pathway has been created between 125th Street and 2nd Avenue and the northwestern portion of Randall’s Island Park.

It can be completed in 15 to 20 minutes and offers some of the best views of New York City. 

6. Manhattan Bridge

The Manhattan Bridge, which connects Downtown Brooklyn to Chinatown in Lower Manhattan, is the newest of the three suspension bridges that cross the Lower East River. It was finished in 1909.

The Manhattan Bridge, one of the most well-known bridges in New York City, features ornate stone towers and sweeping suspension cables.

Designed by George Washington Bridge and Robert F. Kennedy Bridge designer, Leon Moiseff, the Manhattan Bridge was supposed to be the next engineering wonders of New York.

And in 2009, 100 years after its construction, the bridge was named a Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by the Society of Civil Engineers. 

This bridge sees a daily average of 76,000 automobiles, 2,700 pedestrians, and 6,200 bikes using its 13 lanes.

However, it is also known for its issues. The placement of the subway lines outside of the bridge rather than in the center was one of the significant engineering errors.

Every time a subway crossed it in the past, this would force the bridge to plummet by four to six feet. Although the dip has diminished, it still has a pleasant swing.

7. Williamsburg Bridge

The Williamsburg Bridge, which was built in 1903, carries 140,000 people daily on average. It surpassed the Brooklyn Bridge to become the longest suspension bridge ever built when construction was finished.

This is the second bridge out of the three suspension bridges that take pride on the Lower East River.

Designed in the early 1900s, it is one of the last bridges in the country to be designed for travelers by horse and carriage. 

There is a footpath for those traveling by foot or bike. With entrances on either side, you can easily navigate you way across the bridge.

With large gateways, they make for the perfect photo op. However, don’t take too long, or else you may anger a local on their way to work. 

Taking around 30 minutes to complete, you can enjoy a relaxing stroll with plenty of views and opportunities for photos. 

8. Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge

The Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge is well-known for serving as the starting line for the much-awaited New York Marathon, however, it doesn’t link to Manhattan.

Instead, it links Staten Island with the Fort Hamilton district of Brooklyn.

The Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge is particularly impressive at night when the lights along its suspension cables light up and are mirrored on the water of the Narrows.

This bridge only has automotive traffic lanes, unlike several other bridges on our list, and there are no pedestrian walkways.

Named after Florentine explorer, Giovanni da Verrazzano, the bridge gets a great amount of attraction. Especially since the misspelling of Verrazzano’s name offers a good chuckle. 

While the Golden Gate Bridge is still widely known as one of the longest bridges in the world, however, the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge is actually 60 feet longer at an incredible 4,200 feet long.

It is currently the eleventh longest bridge in the world. 

9. Bronx-Whitestone Bridge

The Bronx-Whitestone Bridge, which links the Queens neighborhood of Whitestone with the Bronx neighborhoods of Throggs Neck and Ferry Point Park, is one of New York City’s well-known bridges.

This suspension bridge, which was built in 1939 and has a length of 3,770 feet, carries more than 100,000 vehicles per day.

In the past, the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge has a pedestrian footpath, however, today it is a vehicle only bridge.

In 1905, the construction of the Broz-Whitestone bridge was approved in hopes of developing the neighborhood of Malba Whitestone.

However, many rejected the idea and the project was left dormant until 1930. 

With construction similar to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge which collapsed in 1940, many were wary of the infrastructure of the Bronz-Whitestone Bridge and it took some time for the residents of New York to trust its stability. 

10. High Bridge

The High Bridge is the oldest standing bridge in New York City. While it has been closed since 1970, it was re-opened for public use in 2015. 

The bridge connects the region around West 170th Street in the Bronx to the area around West 173rd Street in Manhattan by spanning the Harlem River.

It is only intended for pedestrians and bikes, and it is just over 2,000 feet long and 140 feet high.

The Old Croton Aqueduct, which provided clean water to NYC, was part of the Old Croton Aqueduct when the bridge initially opened in 1848.

In addition to connecting the boroughs, the region around it currently boasts more than 125 acres of green space with basketball and baseball courts.

It is constructed of classic high under arches, and offers incredible views of the Bronx and Manhattan skylines.

During the summer it makes for an excellent stroll as the lush foliage of Manhattan can be seen below the high rises of New York. 

11. Wards Island Bridge

If you have ever visited Randalls Island, then you are sure to have seen the rather peculiar looking pedestrian bridge. 

As you approach from the south and start to wonder if you’ll ever make it to Randall’s Island in time for the first set, there it is, quietly loping over the Harlem River to connect Manhattan to the peaceful parkland at Wards and Randalls Island.

You can access it along the East River Esplanade at 103rd Street. 

There are just low-carbon global citizens lazily strolling or walking their bikes toward a Good Time; there are no vehicles, tolls, or other problems.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers constructed the bridge, which Swiss immigrant Othmar Hermann Ammann designed and unveiled to the public in 1951.

For passing ships, its central section can be elevated. To the dismay of locals, access was severely restricted in the 1980s and for three decades remained prohibited for five months of the year.

12. Throgs Neck Bridge

Six lanes of traffic travel across this suspension bridge to connect Queens Bay Terrace in the Bronx’s Throggs Neck neighborhood.

The Throgs Neck Bridge, designed by Swiss-American structural architect Othmar Ammann, opened in January 1961. It was constructed to alleviate the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge of its heavy traffic load.

Othmar Ammann also designed various other bridges across NYC including the Robert F. Kennedy, the Queensboro, the George Washington, and the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge. 

As heavy traffic flow continued on the Throgs Neck Bridge, another bridge was created just 2 miles apart. Allowing traffic to remain consistent and flowing. 

It is expertly named after the first Throggs Neck settler, John Throckmorton. It was originally spelled with 2 g’s before being given its iconic singular g name in order to save money within the budget.

During the construction of the Throgs Neck Bridge, over 400 homes were moved in order to make space.  They were moved from the right of way of the Clearview Expressway onto the site of the Bayside and Oakland golf courses. 

Another secret of this bridge is the staircase at the base of the bridge is rumored to take you to a Civil War tunnel. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Oldest Bridge In New York City?

The High Bridge, the oldest standing bridge in New York City, has reopened after being closed for more than 40 years.

Come have a look at this famous structure that links the Bronx and Manhattan for bikers and pedestrians.

What Bridge Is Underwater In New York?

The Hudson River’s Holland Tunnel connects Jersey City in New Jersey to the east with the Lower Manhattan district of Hudson Square in New York City to the west.

Final Thoughts

New York is a place of wonder, where you can make your wildest dreams come true. With so many attractions and entertainment to keep you busy, you may not think twice about other sights to be seen. 

Well, the bridges of New York are ready to blow your mind. Full of history, secrets, and of course views, the bridges of New York are worth taking the time to see. 

Above are 12 of the most famous bridges of New York City. Thousands of people use these bridges every day, and you are about to become one of them!

Alex Kallen
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