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Monday, December 25, 2023

How long is the Brooklyn Bridge?

  Rajesh Kumar Rana       Monday, December 25, 2023

In 1883, in the United States, one of the most famous suspension bridges in the world was built over the East River, the Brooklyn Bridge, which connected Brooklyn and Manhattan (its first name was the New York and Brooklyn Bridge).

Brooklyn bridge
Brooklyn bridge

How long is the Brooklyn Bridge?

The construction of the bridge lasted for 13 years - from 1870 to 1883 - and for some time the Brooklyn Bridge bore the proud title of "The Largest Suspension Bridge in the World" (its length was 1825 meters, span - 486.3 meters). In addition, one of the innovations of the new bridge was that steel bars were used for its construction, which had never been used before. The architect of the bridge, John A. Roebling, tried to take into account the interests of not only motorists, but also pedestrians, as well as cyclists: a separate, more elevated, lane is provided for them.

The bridge consists of two main elements. First, there are two pillars on both banks of the river with two towers erected between them (also known as pillars), 84 meters high. They are built of limestone, granite and cement in the neo - Gothic style and rest on concrete pillars extending 13, 4 m and 23.8 m on the Brooklyn and Manhattan sides, respectively. Secondly, the bridge itself is made of iron and steel cables, and the roadway of the bridge is covered with a layer of gravel. With a width of 26 meters and a length of 1825 meters, the Brooklyn Bridge was at one time the longest suspension bridge in the world and held this title for twenty years. Roebling's design has many redundant details, such as a diagonal support between cables and stiffening beams, which makes the bridge safe: even if one of the main supports fails, the bridge will sag rather than collapse.

Surprisingly, a bomb shelter is built into one of the pillars in case of a nuclear strike. It was completely forgotten and only rediscovered in 2006, along with stocks from the Cold War. In 1964, the bridge became a national tourist attraction, and since the early 80s. in is illuminated at night, which emphasizes its architectural features. Initially, it was designed for cars, trams, bicycles and pedestrians, but since the 1950s, only cars, cyclists and pedestrians drive on the bridge. More than 120,000 vehicles, 4,000 pedestrians and 3,100 cyclists cross the bridge every day.

One amazing story is connected with the Brooklyn Bridge: in order to dispel rumors about the fragility of the structure, two dozen elephants were carried along the bridge!

Cultural influence

After its completion, the Brooklyn Bridge inspired many artists and poets. For example, the American prayer poet Hart Crane in 1930 published Ode to the Brooklyn Bridge. The bridge was considered the pool of the era, and in 1883 crowds of people came to its opening, accompanied by spectacular fireworks and a regatta - the festivities were repeated again in honor of the centenary of the bridge. Many people jumped off the bridge as a publicity stunt or with the intention of committing suicide, while others got married on it.

See also:

• Brooklyn Bridge - story, history, construction & facts

• Emily Warren Roebling: The Woman Who Built the Brooklyn Bridge


Thanks for reading How long is the Brooklyn Bridge?

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