When the Tappan Zee Bridge makes headlines these days, the story focuses on its disrepair—and the plan to replace it with a new span.
But 57 years ago, the Tappan Zee Bridge was a new addition to the Hudson River, and an engineering coup.
Check out this video of the span's opening in December 1955 from the New York State Archives. The narrator—with classic 1950s radio cadence—touts the span as "the largest bridge of its type in the world."
The price of construction then? $60 million. It took about four years to complete the project.
The narrator also boasts of "six wide lanes, two in each direction." Almost six decades later, the lanes struggle to accommodate the 135,000 commuters they serve daily—the new crossing is slated to have eight lanes, but no bus or rail transit.
Despite the video's upbeat horn section, not all was copacetic—the bridge wiped out South Nyack's business district, along with several homes and other structures, like historic churches.