The Brooklyn Bridge's 486-meter main span was the longest in the world
until the completion of the Firth of Forth cantilever bridge in Scotland in 1890. Its
deck, supported by four cables, carries both automobile and pedestrian traffic. A
distinctive feature is the broad promenade above the roadway, which John Roebling
accurately predicted "in a crowded commercial city will be of incalculable
1802 A petition to the State Legislature proposes constructing a
1857 A bill is proposed to the New York Legislature to build a
suspension bridge over the East River to Brooklyn.
1865 John A. Roebling and Wilhelm Hildenbrand draw plans.
1866 A bill is passed by the New York State Legislature for
April, 1867 The New York Bridge Company is incorporated.
May, 1867 The New York Bridge Company makes John A. Roebling
1869 President Ulysses S. Grant signs a bill approving the plan.
July, 1869 John A. Roebling 66, dies in an accident making
observations to determine the exact location of the Brooklyn tower. His son, Washington
Roebling, succeeds him.
January, 1870 Work begins.
May, 1871 The New York caisson is launched. Although the Brooklyn
foundation hit bedrock at 44 feet, the foundation on the Manhattan end rests on sand at 78
1872 Roebling is stricken by caisson disease, becoming an
invalid. He supervises the building of the Bridge from his bedroom, his wife instructing
the Bridge engineers.
1874 The Brooklyn Bridge is made public, repaying the subscribers
May, 1875 The Brooklyn tower is completed.
July, 1875 The New York tower is completed.
1877 A temporary footbridge between the towers is built.
1887 Scandal over the supply of faulty wire.
May 24,1883 The Brooklyn Bridge is opened.
During its construction twenty-seven men died, including its designer, John A. Roebling