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Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: July 12, 2008

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and Videos
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and Links

Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Adams Street Over East River
Location
New York: Brooklyn, New York and Manhattan, New York: United States
Structure Type
Metal Through Truss Stiffening Wire Cable Suspension, Fixed and Approach Spans: Stone Semicircular Deck Arch, Fixed

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
1994
Main Span Length
1,596 Feet (486 Meters)
Structure Length
5,989 Feet (1,825 Meters)
Roadway Width
59.7 Feet (18.2 Meters)
Spans
3 Main Span(s) and 72 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
2240019

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

View Archived National Bridge Inventory Report - Has Additional Details and Evaluation

View Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) Documentation For This Bridge

HAER Drawings, PDF - HAER Data Pages, PDF

View the National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form For This Historic Bridge

Additional Technical Facts
Structure Length Between Anchorages Clearance Above Water At Towers Tower Height Above Water Maximum Tower Width
3455.5 Feet (1053.2 Meters) 110 Feet (33.5 Meters) 276.5 Feet (84.3 Meters) 140 Feet (42.7 Meters)

The Brooklyn Bridge has been called the most influential bridge in the history of the United States. It is also, perhaps alongside the Golden Gate Bridge, the most well-known and recognizable bridge in the United States as well. Indeed it is one of the few bridges that is well-known around the world. It is an unheard-of marvel of engineering for its time, and was the longest bridge in the world when built, a record it held for 20 years. Today the bridge remains an impressive monument that continues to draw countless residents and visitors to view its elaborate cable and truss system, which is supported by truly massive stone towers of a size that can only be truly appreciated when seen in person.

The bridge features relatively high integrity given its age and the fact it continues to carry an incredible amount of traffic in the largest city in the U.S. However, there are numerous alterations to the details including addition/replacement of rivets (with bolts), cables, etc. The most extensive alteration was completed in 1954, and the stiffening trusses were significantly reconfigured at this time. However despite these changes, much of the truss and stone materials remains original, and the overall design and function of the bridge remains intact.

Its history is extremely well-documented in numerous websites and texts. For a short history, check out the National Register nomination form link above. Additionally, a number of additional resource links are available below. The 1883 Report of the Accountants of the New York
and Brooklyn Bridge
(available below) may sound bland, but the first and last parts of the enormous book are perhaps the best source of information on the fabricators and suppliers of materials for the bridge. The New York and Brooklyn Bridge Company, whose name was later shortened to New York Bridge Company, was organized to handle the operations, funds, and logistical organization needed to construct and manage such an immense bridge project. Most unusually, this New York Bridge Company also directly hired workers and conducted the operation of the on-site bridge construction and erection, meaning that there was not a hired contractor for erection and construction work in the usual sense. The New York Bridge Company did solicit bids and award contracts for fabrication and materials supply. A few of the noteworthy contracts included a contract to J. Lloyd Haigh  for the main wire cable. J. Lloyd Haigh was later at the center of some controversy as some of the cable the company supplied was faulty. John A Roebling Sons Company supplied the main cable exterior wrapping, but not the main cable structural wire itself, that work being contracted to J. Lloyd Haigh. The Edge Moor Iron Company fabricated the truss superstructure for the suspended spans. Edge Moor Iron Company later developed a bridge-dedicated offshoot called Edge Moor Bridge Works. Other contractors who would be familiar to bridge historians thanks to prolific bridge work elsewhere, that had more minor contracts for various aspects of the Brooklyn Bridge work included the Pittsburgh Bridge Company, the Keystone Bridge Company, and the Passaic Rolling Mill Company.

A detailed research analysis of this famous bridge is currently outside of the goals of HistoricBridges.org. Instead, please enjoy the additional resources linked to below. However, HistoricBridges.org is proud to provide one of the largest collections of photos, particularly detail photos, of this magnificent bridge. Included in the photo gallery are details of the connections, plaques, and beautiful overviews of the bridge as seen from the new park constructed in Brooklyn around the bridge, as well as views seen as one walks on the bridge's pedestrian (upper) deck.

Above: Early 20th Century Photos of Bridge. Source: Library of Congress

Additional Resources

View a Historical Book Detailing History of Brooklyn Bridge

View A Historical Pamphlet With Images and Short History of Brooklyn Bridge

View An 1870 Report of the Chief Engineer John Roebling On Brooklyn Bridge

View An 1883 Report of the Accountants of the New York and Brooklyn Bridge

View A Historical Biography of the Roeblings

View The Official Opening Ceremonies Guide For The Brooklyn Bridge

View A Historical Book Discussing the 1954 Rehab

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Photo Galleries and Videos: Brooklyn Bridge

 
View Photo Gallery
Structure Overview
Original / Full Size Photos
A collection of overview photos that show the bridge as a whole and general areas of the bridge. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Photo Gallery
Structure Details
Original / Full Size Photos
A collection of detail photos that document the parts, construction, and condition of the bridge. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Photo Gallery
Structure Overview
Mobile Optimized Photos
A collection of overview photos that show the bridge as a whole and general areas of the bridge. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Photo Gallery
Structure Details
Mobile Optimized Photos
A collection of detail photos that document the parts, construction, and condition of the bridge. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer

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Maps and Links: Brooklyn Bridge

Coordinates (Latitude, Longitude):

View Bridge Location In:

Bridgehunter.com: View listed bridges within a half mile of this bridge.

Bridgehunter.com: View listed bridges within 10 miles of this bridge.

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Flickr Gallery (Find Nearby Photos)

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USGS National Map (United States Only)

Historical USGS Topo Maps (United States Only)

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