brooklyn bridge research paper

The Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge, originally known as the East River Bridge, is a bridge in New York City that spans over the East River. It is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States. This is the only bridge that connects the borough of Brooklyn to its sister, Manhattan. This bridge, with a huge span of 486.3m, was the longest suspension bridge in the world until 1903. Not only was it the longest, but it was the very first steel-wire suspension bridge in America.

John Augustus Roebling, who was well known for building bridges in Pennsylvania and Ohio, designed the Brooklyn Bridge. He dies shortly after drawing out the plans, but his wife, Emily Warren Roebling, saved his work of art and worked with engineers herself. She spent the next 11 years supervising the bridge’s construction. She and her husband are still valued today as the forerunners of our modern bridges.

The towers of the bridge are built of limestone, granite, and Rosendale cement. The blocks used on the bridge were built in Manie and shipped to New York by schooner. Once the construction of the suspension/cable-stay hybrid bridge was complete in 1883, it had a total length of 5,989 feet and with a width of 85 feet. It was 41m tall and weighed a whopping 14,680 tons. On its first day, a total of 1,800 cars and 150,300 people crossed what was then the only way to get to the other side.

There was a plethora of complications involving the bridge. On May 30, 1883, the bridge was on the verge of collapsing which caused a stampede that resulted in about 27 deaths. In the early 1900s, many cars fell into the East River due to the lack of strong, permanent railing. This was corrected as soon as possible. Also, the bridge’s aerodynamics had not been worked out. The bridge wasn’t tested for wind tunnels until the 1950s, but thankfully the structure saved many people from getting hit by 100mph+ winds. Did you know that waves play an important role in the making of a bridge? One thing engineers try to avoid is resonance. Resonance is a process in which the bridge’s natural vibrating frequency by an identical frequency. In this case, the identical frequency is a high gust of wind that blows across the bridge, causing ridges of high and low pressure above and below the bridge. This could cause the bridge to move up and down fiercely allowing it to fall to the water. This tragic situation happened in the Tacoma Narrow Bridge Incident in 1940.

Today, the bridge is an iconic landmark for New York City, America, and even our continent. The Brooklyn Bridge has even been dubbed the eighth wonder of the world. For many years, it remained the tallest structure in the Western Hemisphere. An estimated 250,000 people walk across the bridge daily, using the walkway above the roadway that John Roebling designed mainly for the enjoyment of pedestrians. The connection it made between the heavily populated centers of Brooklyn and Manhattan changed always-evolving New York City forever.

Works Cited

Brooklyn Bridge – History Channel
www.history.com/topics/brooklyn-bridge
The Tacoma Narrow Bridge Disaster
http://faculty.plattsburgh.edu/margaret.campion/seconded/second/kent/kent.html Google.com- Brooklyn Bridge web search

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