A spelling error that has spanned decades is finally going to be corrected: Gov. Cuomo agreed Monday to add a long-lost “z” to Staten Island’s Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge.
Cuomo signed off on legislation from state Sen. Marty Golden (R-Brooklyn) and Assemblyman Michael Cusick (D-S.I.) that will officially correct the name of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority-run bridge.
“It is critical that we correct the spelling of this iconic Staten Island landmark,” Cusick said.
The historic mistake — a misspelling of Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano’s name — has been in place since 1964.
“The Verrazzano Bridge is a vital transportation artery for millions of Staten Island and Brooklyn residents,” Cuomo said. “We are correcting this decades-old misspelling out of respect to the legacy of the explorer and to New York‘s heritage.”
The effort to rename the bridge got a revival in 2016 from an online petition that sought to properly memorialize Verrazzano, credited as the first European to see New York Harbor.
Joan Marchi Migliori, director for community and international programs at the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute at Queens College, said her family has tried for generations to fix the error. Her father was the late state Sen. John Marchi, a fixture in Staten Island politics who served from 1957 to 2006.
“My father would go across the bridge and say, ‘That name shouldn’t be like that,’ ” she said.
Marchi Migliori, whose first language is Italian, said relatives from Italy always spot the omission when they visit.
“I just hope people realize now it’s the right name,” she said.
The lawmakers said the name change won’t cost taxpayers anything — the bridge’s sign is overdue for an upgrade, and the correction will be made as it’s replaced.