In its time, the Brooklyn Bridge was a marvel of civil engineering. Even today it’s impressive, despite having long since been surpassed by longer and more monumental suspension bridges, even in the New York City area. The bridge was designed by German immigrant John Augustus Roebling, who was responsible for the United States’ first suspension bridge completed in 1847 (an aqueduct in Pennsylvania). Roebling died shortly after construction began, and was replaced as chief engineer by his son Washington. Many workers were killed or seriously injured by decompression sickness working on the bridge, including Washington Roebling.
The Brooklyn Bridge took 13 years to finish and opened in 1883. It was the first crossing between Manhattan and Brooklyn, and caused a population boom in the once rural borough. At 1825m it was also the world’s longest bridge. Today it is still the most trafficked crossing between Brooklyn and Manhattan, and remains an internationally recognized symbol of New York.
It should take about a half hour to cross the bridge at a leisurely pace. The pedestrian deck rests on top of the auto decks. Enjoy the spectacular views of Lower Manhattan, but be sure to steer clear of the bicycle lanes. On the Brooklyn side, there are lots of restaurants, including the famous Grimaldi’s pizza place.
Open daily 24 hours.