(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

A change may be coming to the Verrazano bridge, but it’s not one that would cause any construction delays.

The New York state Senate passed a bill that would correct the spelling of the suspension bridge that connects Staten Island and Brooklyn.

The Verrazano Bridge has actually been misspelled for more than 50 years, lawmakers say, since it opened in 1964. The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge was named for Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano.

The Senate unanimously passed the bill on Wednesday and is currently awaiting approval in the Assembly, after which it will be delivered to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.


In correcting the spelling, the bill would require new signs for the bridge that feature that extra “z.”

This isn’t the first time an effort has been taken up to correct the bridge’s name. Similar bills were introduced in the last two legislative sessions. The typo gained more attention after Robert Nash, then a 21-year-old Brooklyn college student, started an online petition in 2016 in favor of the correct spelling of “Verrazzano.”

Along with fixing all signs that mention the bridge, Nash suggested a statue should be built near the structure to honor its namesake.

Who was Giovanni da Verrazzano?

The Verrazano Bridge is a notable structure: With a central span of 4,260 feet, it’s the longest suspension bridge in the United States and the 13th longest in the world.

The bridge is the “gateway” to the New York City harbor, and its namesake, Giovanni de Verrazzano chartered those waters in 1524.

Verrazzano was an Italian explorer born around 1485, according to Biography.com. King Francis I, of France, sent him to explore the East Coast of North America in search of a route to the Pacific Ocean. Though he first made landfall near what is now North Carolina, he headed north, eventually discovering the New York Harbor, according to Britannica, along with Block Island and Narragansett Bay. He was the first European to see and enter the New York Harbor.

The typo in the name “Verrazano Bridge” seems to stem from a simple clerical mistake. Though it’s not clear how much correcting the signs would cost, that bill would be for the MTA to handle.

“Unfortunately, the name of this historic bridge has been spelled incorrectly for several decades and out of respect should be corrected immediately,” the Senate bill reads, “especially considering there will be no cost to the State.”

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