Do you know which bridge was the first bridge ever to use steel-wire suspension? Yep, it’s the Brooklyn Bridge. One of New York’s most popular tourist destinations, the bridge took fourteen years to build.
The Brooklyn Bridge spans 1,825 meters or about 6,100 feet. Do you think you could walk the entire 6,100 feet of the bridge? It would be a long walk, but would probably be worth it because of the views. You can see such sights as the Statue of Liberty, the East River, the New York Harbor, and the Empire State Building from the bridge.
The Roebling family is, with little doubt, the most important group behind the building of the Brooklyn Bridge. John A. Roebling had the idea, and designed the project. Unfortunately, he died of tetanus even before construction began, when his toes were crushed by a boat. His son, Washington, took over as chief engineer after his death.
Washington later developed caissons disease and had to direct the completion of the bridge from his bed. His wife Emily acted as the liaison between Washington and the rest of the group involved in the project. Emily’s contribution earned her the distinction of being “the first woman field engineer.”
Fun Facts About The Brooklyn Bridge
- One type of bird that you will see flying above the Brooklyn Bridge is the peregrine falcons, touted the fastest animals alive. The peregrines, which can fly up to 200 miles per hour, have made the bridge their nesting site.
- The first person to jump from the bridge and reach the waters 135 feet below was swimming instructor Robert E. Odlum.
- If you’ve noticed the Brooklyn Bridge looks like the Golden Gate Bridge, it’s because the Golden Gate Bridge was designed similar to the Brooklyn Bridge.
Read More About New York City
Learn more about New York City in our Hey Kids! Let’s Visit Book series for older kids! Hey Kids Let’s Visit New York City is available in kindle and print version.