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1. The Verrazano Bridge
The span took 204,181 vehicles a day in 2010 between Staten Island and Bay Ridge. Construction on this Robert Moses project began in 1959 and was finished in 1964—memorably chronicled by Gay Talese in The Bridge
—displacing many Bay Ridge families but also creating easy automobile access to Staten Island, opening the borough up to development (and to Brooklyn residents who had grown unhappy with urban life by the 70s). Fort Lafayette, part of New York's harbor-defense system (with Fort Hamilton, Fort Wadsworth and Fort Tilden), was destroyed and replaced with the bridge's easternmost pillar. It was the longest suspension bridge in the world until the 80s, having surpassed the Golden Gate Bridge in length. It was named after the Italian explorer following intense lobbying efforts by the Italian Historical Society of America, which met not-inconsiderable resistance. Recently, the bridge has become a popular spot
for suicides; signs have been installed as you drive toward Staten Island that read, "Life is Worth Living."