Last Updated on July 9, 2016
Modern day bustling and busy New York was created with the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, joining Manhattan and Brooklyn through the East River. It was said to be be the greatest bridge in existence or or work of art. It was to be the greatest engineering work of this continent and any age. The bridge is now one of the oldest suspension bridges in the USA.
The bridge is one mile long from end to end with raised towers and was the tallest the city had seen when it was completed in 1883. The towers support massive cables and from those cables drop down wires that are like strong tendons.
The bridge was under high construction when we visited.
Did you know?
- People crossing the bridge on opening day – 150,300
- Bridge opened to vehicles – May 24, 1883, 5:00 p.m.
- Total number of vehicles crossed on the first day – 1,800
- Vehicles charge on Opening Day – 5 cents
- The bridge was originally called the New York Bridge. It was officially given the name “Brooklyn Bridge” in 1915.
- When it opened, the Brooklyn Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world.
- When it opened, the Brooklyn Bridge was the first steel-wire suspension bridge, and the first bridge to connect to Long Island.
- Each of the bridge’s four supporting cables is 3,578 feet, 6 inches long and 15 1/2 inches thick. Each cable contains 21,000 wires that, combined, would have a total length of 14,060 miles.
- The bridge weighs 14,680 tons, 6,620 tons of it suspended.
- The bedrock on the Manhattan side turned out to be much deeper than predicted, so the tower on that side of the bridge rests on sand.
- The Brooklyn Bridge was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964, after physically joining the island Manhattan and Long Island for 81 years.
- The bridge turned out to be a tragedy for the Roebling family. The designer, John Roebling, died from tetanus after a ferry crushed his foot as he was scouting locations for the bridge. His son, Washington Roebling, of Trenton, N.J., fell prey to the bends from his time in caissons laying the foundations for the towers, and became an invalid. Washington’s wife, Emily, became the de facto head of construction in his stead.
Have you ever crossed the Brooklyn Bridge?