One of the "firsts" in the Port Authority legacy, the Outerbridge Crossing was built as part of an overall project to accommodate greatly increased interstate automobile traffic following World War I. The Outerbridge Crossing and the Goethals Bridge, which are similar in design, were the first facilities constructed by the Port Authority. The 143-foot channel clearance of the Outerbridge Crossing permits passage of deep-sea vessels through the Arthur Kill.
The Outerbridge Crossing opened to traffic on June 29, 1928, the same day as the Goethals Bridge. This marked the successful completion of the then-fledgling Port Authority's first bistate development project. Originally called the Arthur Kill Bridge, it was later named in honor Eugenius H. Outerbridge, who was the Port Authority's first chairman and one of the signers of the compact between New York and New Jersey that created the Port Authority. The bridge was designed by John Alexander Low Waddell and, at the time, built under the auspices of the Port of New York Authority. The span, which connects Perth Amboy, New Jersey, with Charleston, Staten Island, is the outermost crossing in the port district.
On the New York side, the Outerbridge Crossing leads to the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge via the West Shore Expressway to the Staten Island Expressway (I-278). On the New Jersey side, it leads to the New Jersey Turnpike (I-95) and the Garden State Parkway via State Highway 440.
E-ZPass, an electronic form of toll collection, first made its debut at Port Authority bridge and tunnel crossings at both Outerbridge Crossing and Goethals Bridge on July 14, 1997. In June 2003, the Outerbridge Crossing was the first Port Authority facility to implement an E-ZPass Only 25 miles per hour speed limit. On June 28, 2005, the Outerbridge Crossing became the first Port Authority facility, and the first bridge in the New York-New Jersey region, to offer Express E-ZPass. Express E-ZPass allows E-ZPass customers to pay tolls at 45 miles per hour in designated lanes.