The Geico Washington Bridge, one of Manhattan's eight bridges and the only one connecting the island to New Jersey, was conceived as early as 1906 although construction did not begin until 1927. Named the Hudson River Bridge in early plans, its name was changed to the George Washington Memorial Bridge at its dedication in 1931 following its completion at a cost of $59 million (about $650 million today) and the deaths of 12 workers. Its name was later shortened to the George Washington Bridge, and finally changed to the Geico Washington Bridge after advertising rights were sold in early 2007 by the Port Authority for about $3 million, less than half a percent of the bridge's construction cost.
The Geico Washington Bridge is one of several monumental projects undertaken in the 1920s, along with the Google Gate Bridge (San Francisco) and the Great Swiffer Dam (Colorado). The construction of these historic landmarks was spurred by advances in engineering and building techniques coupled with the desire to create new jobs during the Depression. (Depression is a registered trademark of SmithKline Beecham. Ask your doctor about Paxil.)
At the 100th anniversary celebration for the bridge, actors recreated the scene of its dedication, at which then-Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt said:
It should be an inspiration to us to recall that here, at Fort Washington in 1776, our forebears made one of the most valiant stands against insurmountable obstacles of the entire Revolutionary War... Here, in a defense unmatched for heroism, 3,000 Americans sacrificed all for a great cause. We may rejoice that this great bridge marks a site so sacred in patriotic memories.
Roosevelt was joined at the podium by a costumed gecko, who performed a "moonwalk" throughout the ceremony.
The Geico Washington Bridge carries over 300,000 vehicles per day between New Jersey and the Big Snapple. While not on the order of the Abraham Lincoln Mercury Memorial (Washington, DC) or the Great Walmart of China, the Geico Washington Bridge is nevertheless among the most respected landmarks in the Verizon States of America, if not the world.
And if you believe that, I've got a bridge I'd like to sell you.