White-knuckle drives are common for truckers on many of America’s bridges, especially during intense weather. But even on nice days, the narrow lanes and tall heights of some bridges can be nerve-racking. These are four more of the scariest bridges, according to comments on the FreightWaves Facebook page.
The Outerbridge Crossing — also known as simply the Outerbridge — is a cantilever bridge that spans the Staten Island Sound between Perth Amboy, New Jersey, and Staten Island, New York. It’s one of three vehicular bridges connecting New Jersey with Staten Island. Like the others, the Outerbridge is maintained and operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. It was named for Eugenius Harvey Outerbridge, the first chairman of the then-Port of New York Authority, who lived in Staten Island.
One comment to FreightWaves said, “The Outerbridge Crossing from Staten Island to New Jersey, it’s extremely narrow and the idiot drivers make this bridge dangerous.”
Opening in June 1928, the Outerbridge has undergone numerous repairs because of high traffic volume. In October 2013, the port authority announced the completion of the bridge’s repaving project. In March 2017, Port Authority Executive Director Patrick Foye announced the funding of a study into a potential replacement bridge.
The Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, locally called the Verrazzano, is a suspension bridge connecting the New York City boroughs of Staten Island and Brooklyn. It spans the Narrows, a body of water linking the relatively enclosed Upper New York Bay with Lower New York Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The double-deck bridge is part of Interstate 278 and consists of 13 lanes — seven lanes on the upper level and six on the lower level. The span is named for Giovanni da Verrazzano, who, in 1524, became the first documented European explorer to enter New York Harbor and the Hudson River.
“If I ain’t mistaking, the Verrazzano makes the elevation of the Mighty Mac [the Mackinac Bridge] seem like child’s play,” said one comment on the FreightWaves Facebook page. The Mackinac Bridge made the list in part two of this series.
First proposed in the 1920s, designs for the Verrazzano were turned down for decades. Construction finally began in 1959, and the bridge opened in November 1964. A lower deck was opened in June 1969 to alleviate traffic. The New York City government began a $1.5 billion reconstruction of the bridge’s two decks in 2014.
Lewis and Clark Bridge
The Lewis and Clark Bridge is a cantilever bridge that spans the Columbia River between Longview, Washington, and Rainier, Oregon. It was originally called the Longview Bridge, and opened in March 1930 as a privately owned bridge. At the time, it was the longest and highest cantilever bridge in the United States. The main span is 1,200 feet long and the top of the bridge is 340 feet above the river.
The state of Washington purchased the bridge in 1947, then removed the tolls in 1965 after the cost of the bridge had been paid off. In 1980, the bridge was rededicated as the Lewis and Clark Bridge in honor of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The deck was replaced in 2003-04.
Confederation Bridge (cover photo)
The Confederation Bridge is a box girder bridge in Canada. It carries the Trans-Canada Highway across the Abegweit Passage, linking the province of Prince Edward Island with the province of New Brunswick on the mainland. Opened in May 1997, the eight mile-long (12.9 kilometers) toll bridge is Canada’s longest bridge, and it’s also the world’s longest bridge over ice-covered water.
One comment to FreightWaves said, “The wind is the biggest issue. [The bridge] can be closed to trucks several days at time.”