Goethals Bridge

From Academic Kids

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DSCN3796_goethalsbridge_e.JPG
The Goethals Bridge, seen from Staten Island

The Goethals Bridge (pronounced "GAH-thuhls") connects Elizabeth, New Jersey to Staten Island, New York over the Arthur Kill. It is operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and was one of the first structures built by the authority. The bridge is part of Interstate 278.

A steel truss cantilever design by John Alexander Waddell, the bridge is 205 m long (672 feet) central span, 2,621 m long (8,600 feet) in total, 18.9 m wide (62 feet), has a clearance of 41.15 m (135 feet) and has four lanes for traffic. It is named after the Port Authority engineer George Washington Goethals, who died before the dedication. The authority had $3 million of state money and raised $14 million in bonds to built the Goethals Bridge and the Outerbridge Crossing, the Goethals bridge construction began on September 1, 1925 and cost $7.2 million. It and the Outerbridge Crossing were opened on June 29, 1928. The Goethals Bridge replacing three ferries and augmenting the existing Arthur Kill rail bridge, its unusual mid-span height was a requirement of the New Jersey ports.

Connecting onto the New Jersey Turnpike it is one of the main routes for traffic between there and Brooklyn via the Staten Island Expressway and the Verrazano Narrows Bridge. Until the bridge to Brooklyn was completed in 1964 the Goethals Bridge never turned a profit. The total traffic in 2002 was 15.68 million vehicles. A new parallel bridge is planned, dividing the westbound and eastbound traffic between the old and new bridges.

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