Bayonne Bridge
The Bayonne Bridge is the fourth longest steel arch bridge in the world, and was the longest in the world at the time of its completion. It connects Bayonne, New Jersey with Staten Island, New York, spanning the Kill Van Kull. The bridge was designed by master bridge-builder Othmar Ammann and the architect Cass Gilbert. It was built by the Port of New York Authority and opened on November 15, 1931, after dedication ceremonies were held the previous day. The primary purpose of the bridge was to allow vehicular traffic from Staten Island to reach Manhattan via the Holland Tunnel.

Ammann, the master bridge builder and chief architect of the Port Authority, chose the steel arch design after rejecting a cantilever and suspension design as expensive and impractical for the site, given a requirement by the Port Authority that the bridge must be able to accommodate the future addition of rapid transit tracks. The eventual design of the bridge called for a graceful arch that soars 266 feet (69 m) above the Kill Van Kull and supports a road bed for 1,675 feet (511 m) without intermediary piers. The total length of the bridge is 8,640 feet (2,633 m) with a mid-span clearance above the water of 150 feet (46 m). The arch resembles a parabola, but is made up of 40 linear segments. The design of the steel arch is based on the Hell Gate Bridge designed by Ammann's mentor, Gustav Lindenthal. Gilbert had designed an ornamental granite sheathing over the steelwork as part of the original proposal, but as in the case of the George Washington Bridge, the stone sheathing was eliminated in order to lower the cost of the bridge, leaving the steel trusses exposed. It was the first bridge to employ the use of manganese steel for the main arch ribs and rivets.

Construction on the bridge began in 1928, and eventually cost $13 million. When it opened on November 15, 1931, it was the longest steel arch bridge in the world. Although it was deliberately built a few feet longer than the Sydney Harbour Bridge, David M. Dow, the Secretary for Australia in the United States, attended the dedication ceremony and noted that the bridge in Sydney was much larger and contained more than double the amount of steel. The same pair of golden shears used to cut the ribbon for the Bayonne Bridge was sent to Australia for the ribbon cutting of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The presence of the Bayonne Bridge ultimately led to the discontinuation of the Bergen Point Ferry. The supported roadway carries two lanes of traffic in each direction. The roadway deck could accommodate an expansion for either two traffic lanes or two light-rail lanes. A pedestrian walkway, cantilevered from the western side of the roadway, currently provides the only access by foot to Staten Island; at more or less normal walking speed, it takes approximately 25-30 minutes to walk from the street access on one side of the bridge to the street access on the other side. The Port Authority also permits bicycle traffic, however the sidewalk ends abruptly at descending stairs on the New Jersey side. Due to safety concerns, bicycle riders are required to walk their bicycles across the bridge. Tolls are collected on vehicles traveling into Staten Island (there is no toll for vehicles traveling into New Jersey). The car toll is $8.00, though discounts are available for E-ZPass subscribers. In September 2007, the New York City Transit Authority began a limited-stop bus route (the S89 ) that crosses the bridge. The route's termini are the Hylan Boulevard bus terminal in Eltingville, Staten Island and the 34th Street Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Station in Bayonne. This is the first interstate bus service offered by the MTA. In 2003, the bridge carried about 20,000 vehicles per day. The Bayonne Bridge was designated as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1985.

Height problem
The span presents a difficult obstacle to large container ships passing under it on the way to and from Newark Bay. Its clearance of between 151 to 156 feet (46”“48 m) above the Kill Van Kull depending on the tide means that some of today's ships, which can reach 175 feet (53 m) above the waterline, must fold down antenna masts, take on ballast or wait for low tide to pass through. The problem will become more serious after the Panama Canal expansion project allows larger Panamax ships to become commonplace. The Port Authority is considering replacing the span, and commissioned a study of the question by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, completed in 2009, and has authorized up to $10 million for planning and engineering services to develop options to deal with the bridge's low clearance. The Army Corps of Engineers study looked at three options to deal with the height-challenged bridge. The quickest option is a $1.32 billion project to jack up the bridge to increase its height by 40 percent, which could be accomplished by 2019 at the earliest. It will need a clearance of 215 feet (66 m) to handle the new ships. Another option is to build a new cable-stayed bridge, which would cost $2.15 billion and take until 2022. The most expensive option would be to get rid of the bridge altogether and replace it with a tunnel through which traffic would traverse under the Kill Van Kull. This option would take to 2024 to complete and cost $2.2 to $3 billion. Congressmen from both New York and New Jersey are pressing the Port Authority to act quickly.

Appearances in popular culture
  • The bridge was featured in the 2001 film A Beautiful Mind .
  • The bridge has appeared in the HBO prison drama Oz .
  • The bridge has appeared in the background on a few episodes on the Nickelodeon series The Adventures of Pete & Pete.
  • The bridge was featured in the 2005 science fiction film, War of the Worlds starring Tom Cruise, appearing in the background several times in the scenes that took place in Bayonne. The main character's home was also located near the bridge, which is destroyed in an attack by aliens.