05 November 2007

Go get 'em, Vito!

Has anyone else noticed the INSANE P.M. rush hour bottleneck traffic leading onto the Verrazano Bridge the past few weeks?! I mean, HOLY FUCK!

The streets surrounding the entrances to the bridge are absolutely loaded; like a fucking parking lot, for hours on end; from well before 5 PM until 7:30 or 8 o'clock!!

What the FUCK is going on over there?! It's unconscionable!

Five Staten Island politicians are expected to file a lawsuit against the MTA today, for what they call a "capricious, arbitrary and unlawful" plan to complete needed repairs on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

Your boy Vito Fossella* is actually in Supreme Court right now, in St. George, trying to stop the MTA from continuing repairs on the bridge. I guess the MTA is set to start "Phase 2" of the repairs today.

4,260 feet long - more than two and a half miles

Fossella says the MTA failed to come up with a plan to address potentially massive traffic jams on the bridge because of construction work; saying "tens of thousands of commuters have had to deal with unbearable pain and suffering'' because of the MTA's work on the bridge.

MTA officials say they plan to go forward with the work. Those motherfuckers!

The construction is part of a 15-month, $65 million project to overhaul parts of the aging bridge, bolstering parapets and bearings for the Staten Island and Brooklyn approaches, concrete piers and abutments, electrical wiring and parts of the lower-level roadway deck.

I definitely have a love/hate with the Verrazano.

It is the largest suspension bridge in the United States; it was also the last great public works project overseen by the controversial Robert Moses.

Construction on the bridge started in August of '59 and the upper deck was opened in November of '64 at a cost of over $320 million.

Everyone should read "The Bridge" by Gay Talese. It's a quick and interesting read about the the construction of the Verrazano. It surely was not all peaches n' cream; from the naming of the bridge and the displacement of people to the razing of homes, etc.

New York City Mayor Robert F. Wagner cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony, which was attended by over 5,000 people. The lower deck opened on June 28, 1969.

The bridge took over the title of the longest suspension bridge in the world, previously held by the Golden Gate Bridge in San Fran, from 1964 until 1981, when it was eclipsed by the Humber Bridge in England.

Because of its size and isolated location, close to the open ocean, the Verrazano is more vulnerable to the elements than any other bridge in the city. It has been closed, either partially or entirely, occasionally during strong wind and snow storms.

The Humber Bridge may've stripped her title for "worlds longest suspension bridge", but the Verrazano got the Brits back when The Queen Mary II had to revise its smokestack height in order for it to pass under the bridge.

Thing is, the current one-way toll (paid westbound into Staten Island only) is $9 per car. As of March 2007 Staten Island residents pay a reduced toll of $4.80 and there is also a significant carpool discount.

HOWEVER... when this motherfucker opened up back in 1964, the deal was that the bridge would be a toll road UNTIL it was paid off and then it would be FREE. That was the deal. It's been 40 some odd years...

From 1964 to 1986, the toll was collected in both directions, until Staten Island residents concerned about pollution from idling vehicles (haha!) called for the one way tolls. However, as of 2007, the eastbound toll booths are still in place, requiring drivers to slow down. While the high cost of the toll between Staten Island and Brooklyn has always been an issue for residents, some favour the toll because they see it as a way to curb population growth on Staten Island.

*Vito Fossella is a Republican politician from New York who has represented the state's 13th Congressional district (map) in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1997. The district includes Staten Island and the Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst and Gravesend neighborhoods of Brooklyn. Fossella, a Staten Island native, was born to a family that included several politicians. Fossella initially took office in 1997, after winning a special election held to replace the resigning Susan Molinari. He is currently in his sixth term, having won re-election in '98, '00, '02, '04, and again in '06. Fossella is the only Republican Congressman from New York City.

No comments: