Prior to and while under construction, GWB was unofficially known as the "Hudson River Bridge". That name was the popular choice, chosen over a host of other proposed names as well as the Port Authority's preference for the name "George Washington Bridge", based on 1931 ballot voting submitted to the Port Authority by New York and New Jersey residents. However, the Port Authority named the bridge after George Washington that year.
The bridge was dedicated on October 24, 1931, and opened to traffic the following day. The George Washington Bridge, with a span of 4,760 feet (1,450 m) in total– including a main span of 3,500 feet (1,100 m) – was the longest main bridge span in the world at the time, at nearly double the 1,850 feet (560 m) of the previous record holder, the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit. It held this title until the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge in 1937.