Brooklyn Bridge

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1983, Vol. 53, Issue 5, Pg. 42-47

Document Type: Feature article


To commemorate the 100th anniversary of opening of New York City's Brooklyn Bridge in 1883, the Smithsonian Institute has mounted, and opened to the public in the anniversary month of May 1983, a major exhibit of contemporary photos and drawings showing how the bridge was constructed. The article is based on that exhibit. Three of the most interesting aspects: (1) Foundations for the two tall stone towers are made of wood. To excavate down to required depth, men worked under air pressure in a cavity in each caisson's bottom, hand-shoveling the soils to cable-lifted buckets. (2) The bridge's suspension cables are the first in a major bridge to use steel wire; it corrodes much faster than the previously used wire material, wrought iron, so extra care with corrosion protection mainly by galvanizing was taken. (3) The stories of three key people involved in the project are summarized.

Subject Headings: Cable stayed bridges | Cables | Steel bridges | Suspension bridges | Bascule bridges | Bridge management | Bridges | Corrosion | New York City | New York | United States

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