New York City’s Verrazano-Narrows Bridge opened in 1964. The graceful span of the Verrazano connects the boroughs of Brooklyn and Staten Island, making it the longest suspension bridge in the country.

Gay Talese was a young reporter at the time, and wrote a book documenting the construction called “The Bridge.”

Talese (right) recently interviewed Bob Walsh (left), whose family boasts five generations of ironworkers. The construction of the Verrazano Bridge was Walsh’s first job in the trade.

At StoryCorps, Talese reads from his book and speaks with Bob about the dangers involved in building one of New York City’s landmarks.

Originally aired December 12, 2014, on NPR’s Morning Edition.