Generally Speaking: Happy 50th birthday, Verrazano-Narrows Bridge!

November 18, 2014 Theodore W. General
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A rousing birthday salute to the iconic Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, at one time the longest suspension bridge in the entire world!  However, the beautiful span has not lost its luster, fame or grace and  still remains the longest bridge in the nation, as well as the Western Hemisphere.

When it opened on November 21, 1964, at 4,260 feet, it was the longest suspension bridge ever constructed and held the record until 1981, when it was surpassed by England’s Humber Bridge. Today, it is ranked eighth in size worldwide, with Japan’s Pearl or Alishi-Kaikyo Bridge now number one.

Both the upper and lower levels of the VN Bridge have 12 lanes. The second level was added in 1969, and when the bridge opened, the one-way toll was only 50 cents! Back in 1989 when the bridge was commemorating its silver anniversary, for one day, the Bridge and Tunnel Authority allowed pedestrians to walk toll-free back and forth across the massive span which has brought lifetime, historic memories for young and old of that occasion.

We had been a strong advocate of trying to get the elected officials and others to try and convince the MTA to once again allow people to enjoy a leisure trek or two across the bridge.  Community Board 10 even sent a formal request to help celebrate by once again allowing us consumers to walk the bridge. All to no avail!
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Brooklyn’s Cathedral Club, which was founded in 1900, held its annual memorial service in the Sacred Heart Chapel at the Visitation Monastery, 91st Street and Ridge Boulevard. Auxiliary Brooklyn Bishop Paul Sanchez conducted the mass with Diocesan officials and pastors Monsignors Kieran Harrington and Jamie Gigantiello co-celebrating.

Harrington is the communications vicar for the Diocese which covers all the Roman Catholic Churches in Brooklyn and Queens, and Gigantiello is the Diocesan development vicar.   Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio is the club’s spiritual director.

Attorney Christopher Hannan is the current president of the Cathedral Club. Also in attendance at the service and later the reception at the Bay Ridge Manor were State Senator Marty Golden, New York State Conservative Party Chair Michael Long, Kings County Republican chair Craig Eaton and Democratic District Leader Joseph Bova.
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