Friday, September 30, 2011

Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge connects Manhattan with Brooklyn, New York's most populous borough. It is considered as one of the city's most magnificent landmarks. The construction of the bridge commenced in 1869 and was completed in 1883. John Roebling was behind this massive project, a German immigrant who had worked for the Prussian government as a bridge and road builder. He came up with the idea of building a bridge across the East River after he had taken a ferry across the river that ended up stuck in the ice. 
However he did not get to see the bridge he had designed, since he died after crushing his foot in an accident. Another 20 people died during the construction of Brooklyn Bridge. The day it was inaugurated, May 24th 1883, nearly 150.000 people crossed the bridge. 

This bridge not only seemed strong, it also turned out to be just as strong. However many New Yorkers were not convinced the bridge was safe. So as to prove the doubters wrong, P.T. Barnum led a caravan of circus animals, including a herd of 21 elephants, across the bridge in 1884. Brooklyn Bridge ranks as one of the greatest engineering feats of the 19th century and remains one of New York's most popular and well known landmarks. 

It stretches for a length of about 1.8 km. The length between the large towers is 486 meters, making it the world's largest suspension bridge. The most noticeable feature of Brooklyn Bridge are the two masonry towers to which the many cables are attached. The bridge officially became a national monument in 1964. 

The bridge has an elevated pedestrian footpath, which not only gives the visitor the opportunity to cross the river without interfering with the traffic that rushes past a level below, but it also offers a great view of the bridges towers as well as downtown Manhattan's skyline. 

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