An icon in the pages of American history which has served the New Yorkers for a whooping hundred and twenty five years and continues to do so.
The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the greatest bridges in the world and is one of the oldest suspension bridges in America. It was erected in 1883 and is an impressive engineering marvel. The bridge at one point in time was the longest of the suspension bridges in the world. The gorgeous neo gothic architecture of the bridge looms large over the East river.
It an age old gateway from the city of Manhattan into the quieter streets of Brooklyn for cyclists, pedestrians and automobiles alike. The construction of the bridge commenced from January 3rd in 1870. The bridge was opened to a flood of traffic of humans and motor vehicle on 24 May, 1883. The bridge spans a massive length of 6016 feet. Each of the four cables that hold the bridge aloft span a 3578.5 feet length.
People behind the bridge:
A family effort lies behind the dream of a connecting bridge which finds place in the heart of architectural history of America. John Augustus Roebling was the man who designed and took to the construction of the bridge. During construction he lost his life due to a freak accident. He as a designer had been pivotal in rendering important bridges in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas.
He was injured while conducting a survey of the area and later on died due to tetanus. He died before the bridge was completed. His son, Colonel Washington Roebling carried on the job where his father left it and completed designing the bridge. He supervised the bridge for a short period of time before he took ill and died. The construction spanned fourteen long years and was finally completed by the wife of Washington Roebling.
Emily Warren Roebling preserved for eleven years to effectively head the Brooklyn bridge construction to the finish.
It was perhaps one of the most remarkable and famous engineering endeavors in 1800s. The construction of the bridge took a whole decade. During its construction it was continuously criticized by the skeptics who thought the bridge would fall into the East River. The whole of United States rejoiced and the world turned to look at the spectacle which rose during the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge on 24th May, 1883.
The bridge for time immemorial has been a sought after and dependable route of transaction for thousands of commuters day in and day out. It also plays the part of a beautiful landmark of New York with its grace laden steel cables and soaring stone towers.
Pioneering achievements of the time:
The biggest innovation in the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge was the incorporation of steel by chief engineer John Roebling. The suspension bridges which were built earlier in the day made use of iron. But with the steel infused structures the bridge was going to be only stronger.
The foundation for the huge stone towers of the bridge was built with the use of caissons. The caissons are wooden boxes which were enormous in size and had no bottoms. Compressed air was then pumped into the caissons; the men were lowered in them and would dig at the sand and rock in the river bottom. There was great risk in working in a caisson and the men who worked in it were called sand hogs. They found it very difficult. Chief engineer Washington Roebling never recovered from an accident when he went to oversee work in a caisson.
His wife Emily took his instructions everyday to the construction site of the bridge. She trained herself as an engineer and followed in the footsteps of her father in law and husband to give America one of its finest bridges. The workers toiled and labored hard in difficult situations while working on the foundation of the stone towers.
The opening ceremony of the bridge was a grand affair with the whole city turning up to see the tall beauty. The Irish residents took offense to the event as it coincided with the birthday of Queen Victoria. The Cannons of the Navy Yard of Brooklyn sounded salutes in honor of the people who lent their support in the making of the bridge. Military bands marched and played their tunes and the president and his dignitaries took a walk along the bridge.
The then President Chester A. Arthur came to New York City for the inaugural of the bridge. The Brooklyn Bridge immediately became a symbol of the times. The many public speakers lauded the epic structure as a Wonder of Science. The bridge was also a triumph in is contribution to the commerce.
After seeing a hundred and twenty five years the bridge still holds fort for the thousands who reply on it get home. The road structures of the bridge today have been changed to include automobiles. The walkway for the public still holds its charm a major destination for the strolling lot, tourists and sightseers.
Take a walk on the bridge:
The bridge is situated on 1071 Fifth Avenue in New York City. The cross streets of the bridge are 5th Avenue and 89th Street. On queries regarding transportation one can call 311 from New York.
The near by subways are as follows. One can walk through the bridge from Manhattan and take subway 4, 5 and 6 to the City hall. One can reach Chambers Street by taking subway J,M and Z. The bridge has six lanes for vehicles and bike and pedestrian lanes. It is a National Heritage and historic landmark which sees 145,000 vehicles ply its road every day.
The Brooklyn Bridge offers stunning views of the skyline of Manhattan. The iconic bridge has inspired photographers, artists, poetry and postcards. The famed singer Frank Sinatra dedicated a whole song to the beauty of the structure.