Why Did They Build the Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge is known as the oldest suspension bridge in United States built between 1869 and 1883. The only thing that we can say about this bridge is that it is something more than just an example of the engineering skills of the people. This bridge is a symbol of determination and efforts made by the people to build this bridge despite of many complications.

Beginnings

It was in 1857 when for the first time the proposal of building a suspension bridge was sent to Congress for approval. The main idea was to build this bridge over the East River and further extended to Brooklyn.

Build the Brooklyn Bridge Why Did They Build the Brooklyn Bridge

In 1866, after getting approval from the Congress, the plans were officially handed over to John Roebling and Wilhelm Hildenbrand. New York Bridge Company was established two years after the approval from the congress. The company then forwarded the bridge plan to President Ulysses Grant for approval.

Construction

Construction of this bridge has seen major ups and down. On the very first hand right before the construction work, John Roebling had a fatal accident in which he sustained some serious leg injuries. At that time, he was supervising the construction site to decide where the bridge should be built. However, he died because of infections and his son Washington was given the responsibility to take charge in place of his father. The construction of the bridge officially started in 1870 under the supervision of Washington Roebling.

Just two years after the beginning of construction work, Washington Roebling fell victim of caisson disease or paralyzing injury due to which he confined to his home. At that time, he began to direct his workers and engineers from home and his wife, Emily Roebling played a vital role as a mean of communication between his husband and workers and engineers.

Emily Roebling learnt some facts about mathematics and constructing bridges under the guidance of her husband and spent almost 11 years assisting her husband in supervising the construction work from home. The first tower of the bridge was completed in 1874 and by 1877, temporary footbridge was added.

Opening

In 1883, the bridge was finally opened for use to the public. The opening ceremony of the bridge was attended by more than 500,000 people as well as 1,500 vehicles along with the President and New York City officials.

Just a week after the opening of the bridge, a rumor that bridge was going to collapse caused a stampede resulting in the death of at least twelve people. This is one of the worst realities regarding the history of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Facts and Figures

The Brooklyn Bridge is about 5,989 feet long and about 85 feet in width. The longest main span of the bridge is 1,600 feet in length over the East River. At present, there are six lanes for motor vehicles and a separate section for the pedestrians. The entryways are located at the Adams and Tilary Streets.

Other entryways include Sands Street and Exit 2B. One can also reach the bridge from FDR Drive in Manhattan. There is also a route on Park Row and in Frankfort Street to reach the bridge.

Certainly, Brooklyn Bridge is a symbol of struggles, efforts and determination showed by the workers and engineers who made impossible task possible despite of obstacles.

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