Around the Nation

The Bridge On The River Hudson

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The George Washington Bridge has been at the heart of the controversy surrounding Chris Christie recently. But the bridge is more than just a political prop; it's an icon. We learn a few facts about this famous span over the Hudson River.


We can't let this story go today without one more minute on the key player in this scandal, the George Washington Bridge. According to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, it's the world's busiest motor vehicle bridge. Last year, 102 million vehicles crossed it.


The suspension bridge spans the Hudson River, and it opened in October 1931. It has exposed supporting steel towers. They were meant to be encased in concrete and granite but the Great Depression got in the way.

CORNISH: It's a model of efficiency, not of romance or of any great legend. Case in point, this anecdote from the recent movie "Inside Llewyn Davis."


OSCAR ISAAC: (As Llewyn Davis) I had a partner. Threw himself off the George Washington Bridge.

JOHN GOODMAN: (As Roland Turner) George Washington Bridge? You throw yourself off the Brooklyn Bridge, traditionally. George Washington Bridge? Who does that?

SIEGEL: The bridge does have at least one claim to fame. It's the subject of a song creatively titled "George Washington Bridge," and those are the lyrics, too, all of them. Here's a rendition by Bert and Ernie.


ERNIE: (Singing) George Washington Bridge.

BERT: (Singing) Uh-huh.

ERNIE: (Singing) George Washington, Washington Bridge. George Washington Bridge. George Washington, Washington Bridge.

BERT: (Singing) Ernie.

ERNIE: It gets real sad now, Bert. (Singing) George Washington Bridge.

BERT: Ernie, cut that out.

ERNIE: (Singing) George Washington, Washington Bridge.

BERT: Real cute, Ernie.

ERNIE: But it ends up real happy now, Bert. (Singing) George Washington Bridge.

BERT: Oh, Ernie.

ERNIE: (Singing) George Washington, Washington Bridge.

Copyright © 2014 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from