The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the leading landmarks of New York City.
It was built with limestone, granite, and Rosendale cement. It was delivered by schooner from Maine.
It was opened for use on May 24, 1883. Chester Arthur and Franklin Edson crossed the bridge to celebratory cannon fire, and Washington Roebling attended a celebratory banquet.
Brooklyn Bridge Facts for Kids
- John Augustus Roebling designed the bridge
- The bridge is 5,989 feet long, 85 feet wide
- When it opened, it was the world’s longest suspension bridge
- 120,000 vehicles and pedestrians cross it every day
- The bridge took 14 years, 600 men, and over $15 million to build
- Also known as the East River Bridge or the New York and Brooklyn Bridge
John A. Roebling, a German-born American civil engineer, designed the Brooklyn Bridge.
Roebling died before construction began. In 1869, a ferry crushed his foot while he was measuring the bridge. He died of tetanus.
Washington Roebling succeeded his father as chief engineer.
Construction of The Bridge
The bridge was built in a neo-Gothic style. Building the Brooklyn Bridge took 14 years.
It was built by floating two caissons in the East River, digging a 15-foot depth of sediment under the caissons, and then building the stone towers on top of the caissons. A number of workers became sick with the bends in this work.
On Sunday, January 2, 1870, the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge began. During the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, 20 to 30 workers died.
Washington Roebling supervised the entire project from his apartment, designing and redesigning caissons and other equipment. Roebling’s wife, Emily Warren Roebling, studied higher mathematics and helped with the bridge’s construction.
Opening of the Bridge
The East River Bridge was opened for use on May 24, 1883. Chester Arthur and Franklin Edson crossed the bridge to celebratory cannon fire, and Washington Roebling attended a celebratory banquet.
The bridge was built using a truss structure that is less subject to aerodynamic problems and is, therefore, six times as strong as it needed to be. This is also because the contractor, J. Lloyd Haigh, used inferior quality wire in the cabling.
The bridge was officially named in 1915, and in 1919, one of the world’s largest airplanes, the Caproni Ca.5, flew under the bridge.
A cavalcade of cars crossed the Brooklyn Bridge on May 24, 1983, and in the evening, Grucci Fireworks illuminated the sky over the bridge.
In 1964, the bridge became a National Historic Landmark.
New York City designated the bridge a landmark in 1967.
Five days of festivities celebrated the 125th anniversary of the Brooklyn Bridge’s opening. Events included a film series, historical walking tours, information tents, a bicycle tour of Brooklyn, and even miniature golf.