After nearly 50 years, a spelling mistake in the name of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge is finally getting fixed, as Governor Cuomo signed a bill yesterday to add a second “z” to the iconic Brooklyn to Staten Island span.
“The Verrazzano Bridge is a vital transportation artery for millions of Staten Island and Brooklyn residents,” said Cuomo. “We are correcting this decades-old misspelling out of respect to the legacy of the explorer and to New York’s heritage.”
The bridge is named after Giovanni da Verrazzano, a 16th-century Italian explorer credited with being the first European to explore New York Bay. The misspelling allegedly originated in a construction contract some 60 years ago.
Previous bills have been proposed to make the name change, but concern about the cost of the project torpedoed one from 2017. While the proposal attracted bipartisan support from state legislators, many were concerned about the cost of fixing the error after half a century:
Though previous estimates came in at $350,000, the signage won’t be torn down and replaced all at once—the change will be effected over time, as the MTA makes normally scheduled maintenance replacements of signs due to wear and tear (or, as some worry, new, higher tolls).
These changes should come in the next several years, at no direct cost to the taxpayers, said State Senator Marty Golden, who sponsored the bill.
Overall, there are 96 signs that need to be replaced by the MTA. Hopefully, phone service providers will update their spell-checks accordingly, too!