32 Facts About Brooklyn Bridge


Proposals for a bridge connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn were first made in the early 19th century, which eventually led to the construction of the current span, designed by John A Roebling.

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Construction started in 1870, with the Tammany Hall-controlled New York Brooklyn Bridge Company overseeing construction, although numerous controversies and the novelty of the design prolonged the project over thirteen years.

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Since opening, the Brooklyn Bridge has undergone several reconfigurations, having carried horse-drawn vehicles and elevated railway lines until 1950.

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Brooklyn Bridge is the southernmost of the four toll-free vehicular bridges connecting Manhattan Island and Long Island, with the Manhattan Bridge, the Williamsburg Bridge, and the Queensboro Bridge to the north.

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The Brooklyn Bridge has been designated a National Historic Landmark, a New York City landmark, and a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.

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The trusses allow the Brooklyn Bridge to hold a total load of 18, 700 short tons, a design consideration from when it originally carried heavier elevated trains.

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Brooklyn Bridge contains four main cables, which descend from the tops of the suspension towers and help support the deck.

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The current Brooklyn Bridge was conceived by German immigrant John Augustus Roebling in 1852.

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Brooklyn Bridge had previously designed and constructed shorter suspension bridges, such as Roebling's Delaware Aqueduct in Lackawaxen, Pennsylvania, and the John A Roebling Suspension Bridge between Cincinnati, Ohio, and Covington, Kentucky.

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Two months later, the New York and Brooklyn Bridge Company was incorporated with a board of directors.

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Brooklyn Bridge was tasked with constructing what was then known as the New York and Brooklyn Bridge.

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The New York and Brooklyn Bridge Company—later known simply as the New York Bridge Company—was actually overseen by Tammany Hall, and it approved Roebling's plans and designated him as chief engineer of the project.

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However, due to the unexpectedly high concentration of large boulders atop the riverbed, the Brooklyn Bridge caisson took several months to sink to the desired depth.

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Brooklyn Bridge's spent the next 11 years helping supervise the bridge's construction, taking over much of the chief engineer's duties, including day-to-day supervision and project management.

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The last stone on the Brooklyn Bridge tower was raised in June 1875 and the Manhattan tower was completed in July 1876.

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The Brooklyn Bridge anchorage broke ground in January 1873 and was substantially completed in August 1875.

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The Supreme Court decided in 1883 that the Brooklyn Bridge was a lawful structure.

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Less than a week after the Brooklyn Bridge opened, ferry crews reported a sharp drop in patronage, while the bridge's toll operators were processing over a hundred people a minute.

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Since the New York and Brooklyn Bridge was the only bridge across the East River at that time, it was called the East River Bridge.

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At the time of opening, the Brooklyn Bridge was not complete; the proposed public transit across the bridge was still being tested, while the Brooklyn approach was being completed.

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Patronage across the Brooklyn Bridge increased in the years after it opened; a million people paid to cross in the six first months.

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The Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company, which operated routes across the Brooklyn Bridge, issued a notice in 1905 saying that the bridge had reached its transit capacity.

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The ramp from the FDR Drive to the Brooklyn Bridge was opened in 1968, followed by the ramp from the bridge to the FDR Drive the next year.

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The Fifth Avenue and Fulton Street services across the Brooklyn Bridge were discontinued in 1940 and 1941 respectively, and the elevated tracks were abandoned permanently with the withdrawal of Myrtle Avenue services in 1944.

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Two years later, the Brooklyn Bridge trustees agreed to a plan where trolleys could run across the bridge under ten-year contracts.

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Pedestrian access to the bridge from the Brooklyn side is from either the median of Adams Street at its intersection with Tillary Street or a staircase near Prospect Street between Cadman Plaza East and West.

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Brooklyn Bridge struck the water at an angle and died shortly afterwards from internal injuries.

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The Brooklyn Bridge has since developed a reputation as a suicide bridge due to the number of jumpers who do so intending to kill themselves, though exact statistics are difficult to find.

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John Perry Barlow wrote in the late 20th century of the "literal and genuinely religious leap of faith" embodied in the bridge's construction, saying that the "Brooklyn Bridge required of its builders faith in their ability to control technology".

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Brooklyn Bridge is often featured in wide shots of the New York City skyline in television and film and has been depicted in numerous works of art.

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Furthermore, the Brooklyn Bridge has served as an icon of America, with mentions in numerous songs, books, and poems.

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Construction of the Brooklyn Bridge is detailed in numerous media sources, including David McCullough's 1972 book The Great Bridge and Ken Burns's 1981 documentary Brooklyn Bridge.

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