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Map: The Bridge Empire of One of NYC's Most Prolific Builders

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If the name Othmar Ammann doesn't ring a bell, it's about time that it should: The Swiss-born engineer is the man responsible for nearly half of New York City's most magnificent bridges, including some of the most recent constructions ("recent" being relative, of course). He first worked with visionary designer Gustav Lindenthal on the Hell Gate Bridge, the beautiful arched structure that carries trains over the East River, completed in 1916. In 1925, Ammann was appointed the Port Authority's bridge engineer, and was later tapped by Robert Moses to design four more river crossings (including the Verazanno-Narrows Bridge, which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary). Many of his designs have a similar look: they're suspension bridges with support towers that have an elegant, high arch (you can see this in his designs for the Walt Whitman and Delaware Memorial Bridges, too). So the next time you're traveling over the GWB, be sure to give Ammann some praise—and check out the map of his creations below.

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1. George Washington Bridge (1931)

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Interstate 95
New York, NY 10032

This crossing connects Fort Lee, New Jersey to Washington Heights in Manhattan. The center span is 3,500-feet-long, and at the time, it was the longest of its kind in the world. Its eternally modern steel skeleton was actually the result of cost-cutting, as it was originally intended to be encased in stone. It was always expected to get a lower level and that deck was opened in 1962, known to some as “Martha.” The GWB is now the world’s busiest bridge. [Photo by Evan Bindelglass]

2. Bayonne Bridge (1931)

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NY/NJ Route 440
Staten Island, NJ 10303

This bridge connects Bayonne, New Jersey with Staten Island. With a span of 1,675 feet, it was the longest steel arch bridge in the world at the time of his completion, surpassing the Hell Gate Bridge in Queens. One thing that wasn’t accounted for in the design was the future of shipping. The bridge is too short to accommodate larger ships coming through the new portion of the Panama Canal, so the Port Authority is in the midst of an effort to raise the roadway. [Photo by sunrisesoup/Flickr]

3. Robert F. Kennedy Bridge (Triborough Bridge) (1936)

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Interstate 278 - RFK Bridge
Astoria, NY 11106

The Triborough Bridge is actually a complex of three bridges connecting Harlem in Manhattan, the Bronx, and Queens via Randalls Island and Wards Island. It crosses three bodies of water: the Harlem River, the Bronx Kill, and the East River. The signature span is a suspension bridge connecting the island to Queens. In 2008, the complex was renamed the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, though many still call it the Triboro (and spell it that way, too). [Photo by rob zand/Flickr]

4. Bronx-Whitestone Bridge (1939)

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I-678
Whitestone, NY 11357

This is the first in a series of three suspension bridges with a very similar design. As the name suggests, it connects the Bronx to Whitestone, Queens. Unusual among the New York City area’s suspension bridges, the Bronx-Whitestone has eight diagonal stabilizing cables in addition to its vertical suspender cables. The stabilizing cables were added after the collapse of the Tacoma-Narrows Bridge in Washington state. The Bronx-Whitestone once carried both vehicles and pedestrians, but the walkways were removed in 1943, and two additional vehicle lanes were put in place. [Photo by Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin via Flickr]

5. Throgs Neck Bridge (1961)

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Interstate 295
Bronx, NY 10465

This bridge was constructed to alleviate congestion on its neighbor, the Bronx-Whitestone. It connects Throggs Neck in the Bronx (yes, the neighborhood and the bridge are spelled differently) to Bay Terrace in Queens, crossing the East River near where it meets the Long Island Sound. If you’re ever overhead and geographically challenged, it’s the shorter one, or the one with the diagonal metal support system below the bridge deck. [Photo by Teddy Zhang/Flickr]

6. Verrazano-Narrows Bridge (1964)

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Brooklyn/Staten Island
Brooklyn, NY 10305

With a center span of 4,260 feet, the Brooklyn-Staten Island connector was the longest suspension bridge in the world when it opened 50 years ago. It's named for explorer Giovanni di Verrazzano (note the missing “z.”). Sadly, Ammann was overlooked at its opening ceremony. Loathe though we are to bring him up, Donald Trump remembers it clearly. ''I had to ask who he was,'' Mr. Trump told the New York Times. Like the GWB, the VZ’s lower level opened later, in this case almost five years later in 1969. [Photo by Edward Blake/Flickr]

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1. George Washington Bridge (1931)

Interstate 95, New York, NY 10032

This crossing connects Fort Lee, New Jersey to Washington Heights in Manhattan. The center span is 3,500-feet-long, and at the time, it was the longest of its kind in the world. Its eternally modern steel skeleton was actually the result of cost-cutting, as it was originally intended to be encased in stone. It was always expected to get a lower level and that deck was opened in 1962, known to some as “Martha.” The GWB is now the world’s busiest bridge. [Photo by Evan Bindelglass]

Interstate 95
New York, NY 10032

2. Bayonne Bridge (1931)

NY/NJ Route 440, Staten Island, NJ 10303

This bridge connects Bayonne, New Jersey with Staten Island. With a span of 1,675 feet, it was the longest steel arch bridge in the world at the time of his completion, surpassing the Hell Gate Bridge in Queens. One thing that wasn’t accounted for in the design was the future of shipping. The bridge is too short to accommodate larger ships coming through the new portion of the Panama Canal, so the Port Authority is in the midst of an effort to raise the roadway. [Photo by sunrisesoup/Flickr]

NY/NJ Route 440
Staten Island, NJ 10303

3. Robert F. Kennedy Bridge (Triborough Bridge) (1936)

Interstate 278 - RFK Bridge, Astoria, NY 11106

The Triborough Bridge is actually a complex of three bridges connecting Harlem in Manhattan, the Bronx, and Queens via Randalls Island and Wards Island. It crosses three bodies of water: the Harlem River, the Bronx Kill, and the East River. The signature span is a suspension bridge connecting the island to Queens. In 2008, the complex was renamed the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, though many still call it the Triboro (and spell it that way, too). [Photo by rob zand/Flickr]

Interstate 278 - RFK Bridge
Astoria, NY 11106

4. Bronx-Whitestone Bridge (1939)

I-678, Whitestone, NY 11357

This is the first in a series of three suspension bridges with a very similar design. As the name suggests, it connects the Bronx to Whitestone, Queens. Unusual among the New York City area’s suspension bridges, the Bronx-Whitestone has eight diagonal stabilizing cables in addition to its vertical suspender cables. The stabilizing cables were added after the collapse of the Tacoma-Narrows Bridge in Washington state. The Bronx-Whitestone once carried both vehicles and pedestrians, but the walkways were removed in 1943, and two additional vehicle lanes were put in place. [Photo by Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin via Flickr]

I-678
Whitestone, NY 11357

5. Throgs Neck Bridge (1961)

Interstate 295, Bronx, NY 10465

This bridge was constructed to alleviate congestion on its neighbor, the Bronx-Whitestone. It connects Throggs Neck in the Bronx (yes, the neighborhood and the bridge are spelled differently) to Bay Terrace in Queens, crossing the East River near where it meets the Long Island Sound. If you’re ever overhead and geographically challenged, it’s the shorter one, or the one with the diagonal metal support system below the bridge deck. [Photo by Teddy Zhang/Flickr]

Interstate 295
Bronx, NY 10465

6. Verrazano-Narrows Bridge (1964)

Brooklyn/Staten Island, Brooklyn, NY 10305

With a center span of 4,260 feet, the Brooklyn-Staten Island connector was the longest suspension bridge in the world when it opened 50 years ago. It's named for explorer Giovanni di Verrazzano (note the missing “z.”). Sadly, Ammann was overlooked at its opening ceremony. Loathe though we are to bring him up, Donald Trump remembers it clearly. ''I had to ask who he was,'' Mr. Trump told the New York Times. Like the GWB, the VZ’s lower level opened later, in this case almost five years later in 1969. [Photo by Edward Blake/Flickr]

Brooklyn/Staten Island
Brooklyn, NY 10305