The Brooklyn Bridge is a bridge in New York City and is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States. Completed in 1883, it connects the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn by spanning the East River. It has a main span of 1,595.5 feet (486.3 m), and was the first steel-wire suspension bridge constructed.
Originally referred to as the New York and Brooklyn Bridge and as the East River Bridge, it was dubbed the Brooklyn Bridge, a name from an earlier January 25, 1867, letter to the editor of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, and formally so named by the city government in 1915. Since its opening, it has become an icon of New York City, and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964 and a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1972.
Pedestrian And Vehicular Access:
At various times, the bridge has carried horse-drawn and trolley traffic; at present,it has six lanes for motor vehicles, with a separate walkway along the centerline for pedestrians and bicycles. Due to the roadway's height (11 ft (3.4 m) posted) and weight (6,000 lb (2,700 kg) posted) restrictions, commercial vehicles and buses are prohibited from using this bridge.
The two inside traffic lanes once carried elevated trains of the BMT from Brooklyn points to a terminal at Park Row via Sands Street. Streetcars ran on what are now the two center lanes (shared with other traffic) until the elevated lines stopped using the bridge in 1944, when they moved to the protected center tracks. In 1950 the streetcars also stopped running, and the bridge was rebuilt to carry six lanes of automobile traffic.
Contemporaries marveled at what technology was capable of and the bridge became a symbol of the optimism of the time. John Perry Barlow wrote in the late 20th century of the "literal and genuinely religious leap of faith" embodied in the Brooklyn Bridge. "the Brooklyn Bridge required of its builders faith in their ability to control technology."The Cuban poet José Martí wrote an article named "The Bridge of Brooklyn" for the magazine La América, published in June 1883, shortly after the bridge opened to the public.The article was published in his book "Escenas norteamericanas".In the article, Martí made comparisons between certain animals (like snakes) and the structure of the bridge.