By RasmaSandra
19 days ago

The Brooklyn Bridge

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The Brooklyn Bridge is among my favorite bridges in the whole world. I was born and raised in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York and many a time I’ve ridden or walked across this bridge. It looks very lovely at night with lights shining brightly. Unfortunately, while the bridge was being built across the East River 27 deaths occurred and it took a total of 14 years to complete. The bridge connects the borough of Brooklyn to the borough of Manhattan. It was designed by John A. Roebling and the Brooklyn Bridge at that time counted as the largest suspension bridge ever built to date.

John Roebling, a pioneer in the design of steel suspension bridges, was born in Germany in 1806. He studied industrial engineering in Berlin and immigrated to western Pennsylvania at the age of 25. There he chose to make his living as a farmer and after moving to the capital of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg he started working as a civil engineer. Roebling promoted the use of wire cables and established a wire cable factory. Finally, he got a reputation as a designer of suspension bridges and is credited with making major breakthroughs in suspension bridge technology. He proved his knowledge and ability creating bridges across the Niagara Gorge at Niagara Falls, New York, and the Ohio River at Cincinnati, Ohio.

Due to his many successes, New York State accepted Roebling’s design for building a bridge to connect Brooklyn to Manhattan and he became the chief engineer. The Brooklyn Bridge was to be the world’s first steel suspension bridge. Construction was to begin in 1869 and at this time Roebling had a fatal accident. He was taking compass reading across the East River and a boat smashed the toes on one of his feet, Three weeks later he died of tetanus. His son Washington A. Roebling took over as the chief engineer having worked with his father on several bridges and also had helped to design the Brooklyn Bridge.

Twp granite foundations of the bridge were built in timber caissons or watertight chambers that were sunk to a depth of 44 feet on the Brooklyn side and 78 feet on the Manhattan side. These caissons allowed for underwater construction however over a hundred workers did suffer from compression sickness. Compression sickness or the “bends” causes the appearance of nitrogen bubbles in the bloodstream as a result of rapid decompression. Several workers died and Washington Roebling became bedridden from this condition in 1872. Other accidents involved construction problems like collapses and a fire.

During his illness Roebling has his wife carry instructions to the workers. He and his wife moved into a home that offered a view of the bridge in 1877. Even though his health improved he remained partially paralyzed for the rest of his life. Finally his wife, Emily Roebling was given the first ride over the completed Brooklyn Bridge, with a rooster as a symbol of victory in her lap. In a time period of 24 hours around 25,000 people walked across the Brooklyn Bridge on May 24, 1883, using a broad promenade above the roadway designed by John Roebling.

With its unprecedented length and two towers, the Brooklyn Bridge was called the “eighth wonder of the world”. It certainly solved a lot of transportation problems for people between Brooklyn and Manhattan. Then in 1898 the city of Brooklyn formerly merged with New York City, Staten Island and a few farm towns, forming Greater New York.


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Violeta Very interesting article
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RasmaSandra @Violeta thank you
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viktorija64 interesting article
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Melsdename Very nice article
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Miki Very good!
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Ryanskie Nice article 🙂
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kavinitu Very interesting article
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