The George Washington Bridge in Heavy Smog, View Toward the New Jersey Side of the Hudson River


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established in 1970 at a time of rising public concern in the United States about pollution and its effects on human health. In 1972-77 the EPA sponsored the Documerica program to photographically document subjects of environmental concern in America. The images were made by approximately 70 well-known photographers contracted by the EPA for the project. Photographers included Denny Lyon, Gene Daniels, Marc St. Gill, Bill Strode, Charles O'Rear, Jack Corn, Tomas Sennett, Yoichi Okamote, and Ken Hayman. This view of the George Washington Bridge highlighted the problem of urban air pollution in the New York metropolitan area. Operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the bridge crosses the Hudson River between Fort Lee, New Jersey, and West 178th Street in upper Manhattan. Construction of the original six-lane bridge began in October 1927 and was completed in October 1931. Two lanes were added to the upper level in 1946 and a lower level was opened in 1962. The original bridge was designed by Othmar H. Ammann, chief engineer of the Port Authority.

Last updated: January 8, 2018