By Vincent Barone
Get the extra Zs ready.
The State Senate unanimously passed a bill Wednesday that would correct the spelling of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, and the Assembly is expected to approve the measure next.
“It’s long overdue. In the greatest city in the greatest nation, this discoverer should have his name spelled correctly on the signs for the bridge that bears his name,” said Sen. Martin Golden, the bill’s sponsor. “This is something that is many, many years in the making.”
The architectural gem connecting Brooklyn and Staten Island is named after Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano, who mapped the Atlantic coast and New York harbor.
Signs for the longest suspension bridge in the nation are missing a second z. And it is not clear exactly how the error occurred.
The misspelling appears to be a typographical error from the bridge’s early days. Master planner Robert Moses, who pushed to construct the bridge, reportedly favored a different name for the span. But Verrazano prevailed, and somehow, signs bearing the name with a single z were installed and never changed.
Bills seeking to correct the typo have been introduced during the previous two legislative sessions, but the effort gained momentum only last June, when Dyker Heights resident Robert Nash created a petition to put the second z back in Verrazzano.
It is not immediately clear how much the sign changes would cost the MTA, which declined to comment on the pending legislation. The transit authority spent $4 million on new signs when the Triborough Bridge was renamed the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge nearly a decade ago.
The vote in the Senate came amid the last few, hectic days of session, as Mayor Bill de Blasio, city elected officials and advocates continue to push for a pressing transportation initiative: the extension and expansion of the city’s school zone speed camera program. The initiative is slated to expire at the end of the month, which means the city would have to turn off the cameras before school starts in the fall.
Golden recently backed a bill that would extend the program and double the number of camera locations, but it is not clear if the Senate will vote on the measure.
“I’m confident speed cameras will be addressed this session,” Golden said. “The number [of cameras] is something my legislative colleagues can agree to.”