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Journal

Short-form writing for the times I genuinely have something to say about a place, subject, or thing.

A Walk Across the Williamsburg Bridge

View of the East River Park and Alphabet City in the foreground. Empire State in the background

Construction on the bridge, the second to cross this river, began in 1896, with Leffert L. Buck as chief engineer, Henry Hornbostel as architect and Holton D. Robinson as assistant engineer, and the bridge opened on December 19, 1903 at a cost of $24,200,000. At the time it was constructed, the Williamsburg Bridge set the record for the longest suspension bridge span on Earth. The record fell in 1924, when the Bear Mountain Bridge was completed.

It is an unconventional structure, as suspension bridges go; though the main span hangs from cables in the usual manner, the side spans leading to the approaches are supported by trusswork, drawing no support from the cables above. The main span of the bridge is 1,600 feet (490 m) long. The entire bridge is 7,308 feet (2,227 m) long between cable anchor terminals, and the deck is 118 feet (36 m) wide. The height at the center of the bridge is 135 feet (41 m) and each tower is 335 feet (102 m), measurements being taken from the river's surface at high-water mark.

The rapid transit tracks in the center of the bridge were initially used by the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company elevated railroad. Today, the New York City Subway's J M Z trains use these tracks

This bridge and the Manhattan Bridge are the only suspension bridges in New York City that still carry both automobile and rail traffic. In addition to this two-track rail line, connecting the New York City Subway's BMT Nassau Street Line and BMT Jamaica Line, there were once two sets of trolley tracks.

The cast iron stairway on the Manhattan side, and the steep ramp from Driggs Avenue on the Williamsburg side to the footwalks, were replaced to allow handicapped access in the 1990s. Since the new bike path opened, the bridge has become the most heavily bicycled span in North America

A mural painted on the side of a building on the Brooklyn side of The Williamsburg Bridge


 

The Williamsburg Bridge is a suspension bridge in New York City across the East River connecting the Lower East Side of Manhattan at Delancey Street with the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn at Broadway near the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

  • Total length: 7,306' (2,227 m)

  • Construction started: 1896

  • Opened: December 19, 1903

  • Width: 118' (36 m)

  • Height: 135' (41 m)

  • Location: Brooklyn, Manhattan


Images shot with my Panasonic Lumix GX1 and processed with VSCOFilm in Lightroom. Text excerpts sourced from a WikiPedia article about the bridge.