Venture to the Other Side, George Washington Southwalk

George Washington Southwalk
The George Washington Bridge Photo by Edwin Escolero

FORT LEE – New Jersey, housing a rocky cliff that is at the right side by the pavement that trembles. The roaring automotives on the left separated by a metallic railing echo through the air. Onward toward the horizon steel wires support the ground that soles walk on.

Clear blue skies overlook the buildings across the crystal aqua. On the guard rail looking to the right to the cliff by the entrance, below gentle waves crash at a sandy shore. Looking like a model replica of a beach the shore below dwarfed by the height.

Vans, trucks, pickup trucks, and cars of all marks converge on the suspended highway, howling vroom as they cut through the aero. Cyclists zip through the narrow two lane path as they follow the jet stream as they take in the sites across the glittery river below. Parents walking with their child bundled up for the windy elevation.

Walkers stop to snap shots of the neighboring city and the iron gate that they stand on. The towering structure akin to a rectangular zero with three sides each with x-like supports from left to right, and the vertical sides. Vehicles pass through the tower’s opening arc to enter another gate yards ahead.

The sun hit’s the metal structure which exudes the light turquoise coat. Standing against strong winds, away from the light source the bridge is shaded in a periwinkle color.

The gray rail aged through the past season stands against the test of time. The stretch of the path is long as it is high in ascent from the Hudson. Venturing further will take trekkers to a greenery situated near a park once entering the city.

Upon returning to the starting point that is a fenced gate passersby spot a sign welcoming cyclists and walkers, and indicate that one is entering the George Washington Southwalk.

A part of the history that unites the states across the Hudson is found through the George Washington bridge. In 1776 during the American Revolutionary War Washington’s forces were at the two points that the now built bridge leads to today.

The bridge architect, Gustav Lindenthal also known for the Hell Gate Bridge was to design the then “Hudson bridge,” but his plans were impractical due to many embellishments that would require a large sum to fund. Lindenthal’s apprentice, Othmar Ammann would undertake the design when his requisites were not met.

Planned by Othmar Ammann and Cass Gilbert, the bridge construction project would commence on October 1927. The upper level would be completed on October 24th  of 1931 and the lower level on August 29, 1962.

The project included a stone casing that would adorn the steel skeleton. However, The Great Depression hit which lead to the abandonment of the casing plan. Yet, people who visit the bridge appreciates the bare structure as an aesthetic distinction.

On October 24th of 1981 the American Society of Civil Engineers would deem the George Washington bridge a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. Totaling 4,760 ft in length, a width of 119 ft , and 604 ft in height it was known to be the biggest bridge at the time but the Golden Gate bridge now holds that claim.

Research conducted by Modern Marvels indicates that in 2003 “105,942,000 vehicles crossed the George Washington bridge.” The name of the bridge was decided after a unanimous vote by school children in 1930.

The bridge is a testament to hard work and perseverance in the face of adversity through the student taking the role of designing the bridge. Challenges of The Great Depression presented a divergent path that yielded a positive outcome through the unique exterior.

Those who want to explore the city while taking in the scenery should cross the bridge to be treated to an aerial-like view it’ll be like they’re flying. Fitness enthusiasts, jogger, and cyclists will face the challenge that crossing the bridge gives them as they venture to the other side.


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