Best USA Travel & Tourism Guides place is Verrazano Narrows Bridge. It is a double decked suspension bridge that connects boroughs of Staten Island and Brooklyn in New York City at the Narrows, reach connecting the relatively protected upper bay with larger lower bay. The bridge is named for Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazano, the first known European navigator to enter New York Harbor and Hudson River, while crossing Narrows. It has a center span of 4,260 feet or 1,298 m and was largest suspension bridge in the world at the time of its completion in 1964, until it was surpassed by the Humber Bridge in United Kingdom in 1981. It now has the eighth longest center span in the world, and is the largest suspension bridge in the United States.
The bridge furnishes a critical link in local and regional highway system. Since 1976, it has been starting point of New York City Marathon. The bridge marks gateway to New York Harbor all cruise ships and most container ships arriving at Port of New York and New Jersey must pass underneath the bridge and thus must be built to accommodate clearance under the bridge. This is most notable in case of the ocean liner RMS Queen Mary 2. The Verrazano, along with the other three major Staten Island bridges, created a new way for commuters and travelers to reach Brooklyn, Long Island, and Manhattan by car from New Jersey. Construction on the bridge began August 13, 1959, and the upper deck was opened on November 21, 1964 at a cost of $320 million. The lower deck opened on June 28, 1969. The bridge took over the title of the longest suspension bridge in the world from 1964 until 1981, when it was eclipsed by the Humber Bridge in England. Fort Lafayette was an island coastal fortification in New York Harbor, built next to Fort Hamilton at the southern tip of what is now Bay Ridge. It was destroyed as part of the bridge's construction in 1960; the Brooklyn-side bridge pillars now occupy the fort's former foundation.
According to the USA Department of Transportation each of the two towers contains 1,000,000 bolts and 3,000,000 rivets. The diameter of each of the four suspension cables is 36 inches. Each cable is composed of 26,108 wires amounting to a total of 143,000 miles or 230,136 km in length. Because of the height of the towers 693 ft and their distance apart 4,260 ft, the curvature of the Earth's surface had to be taken into account when designing the bridge the towers are 1+5⁄8 inches or 41.275 mm farther apart at their tops than at their bases. Because of thermal expansion/contraction of the steel cables, the bridge roadway is 12 feet or 3.66 m lower in summer than its winter elevation. Recently residents living on both ends of the bridge have lobbied for pedestrian access. In October 2003 Mayor Michael Bloomberg promised to look into establishing the long-awaited pedestrian and bicycle access.