The Brooklyn Bridge, And Why Its Still Stands Tall
What is known to many about the Brooklyn Bridge is that it falls in the top five landmarks of the ‘big Apple’. Plus the bridge happens to be one of the busiest in the city to connect the two boroughs i.e. Brooklyn and Manhattan.
A bridge of this magnitude was unthinkable to construct at one point in time. No wonder then that it was the first steel-wire, suspension bridge to come up during the Industrial Revolution that had caught the fancy of Europe and North America not long ago (give or take a century).
The formative concepts of Brooklyn Bridge lean heavily towards Gothic inspirations. This is especially prominent if one were to examine the pointed arches of the passageways of the stone towers that stand on either side of the bridge.
Built To Withstand
Testing bridges for aerodynamic resistance hadn’t come into practice until the 1950s when wind-tunnels were first introduced. Given that the Brooklyn Bridge took 13 years to complete and was first open to the public in 1883, the fact that it weathers any atmospheric change with ease till date can be put down to either the designer John Augustus Roebling’s foresight or good fortune.
It was the former. With his designs and specifications, Roebling went to the extent of making the bridge six times stronger than what it needed to be in his head. Perhaps, it is for this reason that while the Brooklyn Bridge stands and takes the brunt of daily traffic today without major overhauls, its contemporaries from the same era have vanished into obscurity.
So much so that the 250 extra diagonal cables that were later put into the plan to offset the inferior quality of the main cables, were deemed redundant subsequently. They were installed nonetheless for their distinguishing aesthetic appeal.