Brooklyn Bridge One of the Oldest Bridges in the USA

by Denise Marie

The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest bridges in the USA. It was known as the East River Bridge and New York Bridge, and was officially named by the city’s government in 1915. Today it has six lanes for motorists and a separate walkway for pedestrians and bicyclists. Throughout its history it has carried many trolleys and horse drawn carriages. With its roadway height’s there are restrictions for buses and other commercial vehicles from using the bridge.

Since it was first opened it has developed to be one of many National Historic Landmarks back in 1964. To this day it is one of New York’s main icons with visitors from all over the world. With its bright lights lighting up the sky at night.

Construction and History
Competed in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge connects the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn by crossing the East River. It is the longest and oldest suspension bridge in the United States with it being 1,595.5 feet long. The bridge was originally planned by John Augustus Roebling a well-known German designer that had designed many other suspension bridges in the USA.

It took 13 years to complete with opening on May 24th. Around 600 workers worked on the bridge and it cost around $15 million to complete. John Roebling, the original designer died in the process along with at least 24 workers. It was then when son, Washington Roebling took over the project until he became ill with a disease said to be the result from working with the pillars on the bridge.

Connecting the two great cities for the first time in history, President Chester Arthur presided the ceremony in front of thousands of residents with Former Governor Cleveland getting the pleasure of taking the first ride over the bridge. Just 24 hours after there was an estimated 250,000 people that walked across using the sideways designed specifically for pedestrians.

On May 30th there was a terrifying rumor that the bridge was going to collapse. This caused a horrific stampede that resulted in killing and crushing more than 10 people. P.T Barnum, in 1884 took 21 elephants over the bridge to get rid of any doubts of the bridges’ stability while publicizing his famous circus.

It was in 1898 when Brooklyn merged with Staten Island, New York City forming together Greater New York. The “Eight Wonder of the World” is what the nickname of the Brooklyn Bridge was after its extraordinary length and two towers. It remained the tallest structure in the western hemisphere for many years after it was completed. The steel cables and granite towers have offered a scenic passage to millions of tourists since 1883 and now more than 125 years past, this national landmark carries and supports around 150,000 pedestrians and vehicles each day.

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The Brooklyn Bridge Park is one of the main attractions. It sits on 85 acres right on the shore line of the East River. 1.3 miles of Brooklyn’s industrial waterfront from Jay Street just north of the Manhattan Bridge to Atlantic Avenue right under the Brooklyn Bridge. There are 6 Piers that have been integrated into the park along with the Fulton Ferry Landing, Civil War structures and Empire Stores.

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