Sauntering along in the middle of New York City traffic is usually not a good idea… unless you're crossing the Brooklyn Bridge. Safely elevated above the 130,000 cars that traverse the bridge daily, and tucked between its six automobile lanes, the bridge's wide, boardwalk-style pedestrian and cycling path provides sensational views of lower Manhattan, the Brooklyn waterfront, the Statue of Liberty, the East River, and sunset.
The Brooklyn Bridge stretches 6,016 feet to connect Manhattan and Brooklyn and stands 135 feet above the East River. Walking from end to end takes 20 to 40 minutes, and benches are available for those who wish to rest and absorb the panorama.
At the time it opened in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world. Since then, it has continued to symbolize American ingenuity and to inspire artists, writers, and architects. Construction began in 1870 under designer John A. Roebling, who died of tetanus two years later as a result of wounds incurred on site. His son, Washington Roebling, took over the project until he also was felled by a construction-related illness, leaving him partially paralyzed. Washington's wife, Emily Warren Roebling, oversaw construction for the next 10 years under his guidance, and was first to walk across, under a shower of fireworks, on May 24. The bridge was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964.
In addition to serving commuters and visitors, the Brooklyn Bridge has also functioned as a crucial passageway during subway shutdowns such as after 9/11, the transit strikes in 1980, and the Blackouts of 1965, 1977, and 2003. P.T Barnum led 21 circus elephants across in 1884 to prove the bridge's stability after rumors of its collapse ignited a stampede that killed 12. So, lace up your walking shoes, grab your camera, and prepare to share footprints with history.
- 24 hours daily
- Subway Stop:
- 4, 5, 6 trains to the Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall Station in Manhattan
- C, D trains to the High Street Station in Brooklyn
- Location: Between lower Manhattan and Brooklyn Heights
- Website: www.nyc.gov