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Some History on New York Bridges

Tue, Feb 21, 2012 at 10:45AM

I was just watching this documentary about the history of all the bridges located in New York and how they were built. They talked about each bridge...which one was constructed first and the materials they used. They also brought up the architectural techniques these bridge builders were using to construct a bridge that was strong enough and also long enough to satisfy the needs of people trying to travel from one borough to another. Back in the 1800's it was virtually impossible for people to travel from Manhattan to Brooklyn or Brooklyn to Queens or even Staten Island to New Jersey. It was really cool how after each bridge was built....the next one was even built better...stronger and quicker. I became mesmerized with this and watched the entire series. As they got bigger and longer...they got stronger and lighter...it also seemed that as they were going up that each one try to out do the others. I lived in New York for the first 34 years of my life and I'm still a big fan of all the fantastic structures around the area. It helps me reminisce about my life when I was growing up.I can still remember crossing all of these bridges when I was a young pup. It's pretty funny because I lived there so long but never paid much attention to the history. I guess I still have a piece of my life that was left there. It's very interesting to look back at the changes in technology. These architects were amazing in the way they knew exactly how much stress would have to be compensated on the bridges in order for people to actually travel over them without the chance of collapsing. You would think that back in the late 1800's into the 1900's that there would be a lack of intelligence but I don't think it had anything to do with that in general. I think it was more like that they had these great ideas and could figure out all the different angles and stress levels...but they just didn't have to space age materials and machinery we have these days. Labor was also an issue and getting paid enough to justify working dangerous situations probably didn't bring on great motivation. But in the end these bridges also did some really positive things such as cause a boom of people to start traveling by horse and buggy...automobiles and even walking across these bridges in order to set down roots in each of the five boroughs. It is truly amazing to see how some of these bridges were literally held up with strands of wire that was capable of holding up unheard of amounts of weight and the stress levels from the constant use. As bridge construction moved forward...builders found ways to use even lighter material that was a benefit factor for both the construction as well as the use of newer and better materials. Today I'm only going to write about the most famous ones that I remember from my childhood. I'm just using the WIKI summaries here so if you want to find out more about these beautiful structures... you can read about them by clicking on the links below. Brooklyn Bridge     The Brooklyn Bridge opend in 1883 and is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States and stretches 5,989 feet over the East River connecting the New York City boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn.       Verrazano-Narrows Bridge     The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge opend in 1964 and is a double-decked suspension bridge that connects the boroughs of Staten Island and Brooklyn in New York City at the Narrows, the reach connecting the relatively protected upper bay with the larger lower bay.       Manhattan Bridge     The Manhattan Bridge opened in 1909 and is a suspension bridge that crosses the East River in New York City, connecting Lower Manhattan (at Canal Street) with Brooklyn (at Flatbush Avenue Extension). It was the last of the three suspension bridges built across the lower East River, following the Brooklyn and the Williamsburg bridges.     Williamsburg Bridge     The Williamsburg Bridge opened in 1903 and 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 on Long Island at Broadway near the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (Interstate 278). It once carried New York State Route 27A and later Interstate 78.     Queensboro Bridge     The Queensboro Bridge opened in 1909 also known as the 59th Street Bridge, is a cantilever bridge over the East River in New York City that was completed in 1909. It connects the neighborhood of Long Island City in the borough of Queens with Manhattan, passing over Roosevelt Island. It carries New York State Route 25 and once carried NY 24 and NY 25A as well.         The Triborough Bridge opend in 1936 and is a complex of three bridges connecting the New York City boroughs of the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens, using what were two islands, Ward's Island and Randall's Island as intermediate rights-of-way between the water crossings.         The Bronx-Whitestone Bridge opened in 1939 colloquially referred to as the Whitestone Bridge or simply the Whitestone, is a suspension bridge that crosses the East River and connects the boroughs of Queens and The Bronx via Interstate 678. The bridge was designed by Othmar Ammann and opened to traffic with four lanes.         The George Washington Bridge opened in 1931 (known informally as the GW Bridge, the GWB,the GW,or the Georgeis a suspension bridge spanning the Hudson River, connecting the Washington Heights neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan in New York City to Fort Lee in New Jersey by means of Interstate 95, U.S. Route 1/9. U.S. Route 46, which is entirely in New Jersey, ends halfway across the bridge at the state border. The GWB is considered one of the world's busiest bridges in terms of vehicle traffic.   Throgs Neck Bridge     And my favorite bridge probably because I lived closer to this one.....The Throgs Neck Bridge which opened in 1961 and is a suspension bridge carrying Interstate 295 over the East River where it meets the Long Island Sound. The bridge connects the Throgs Neck section of the Bronx with the Bayside section of Queens. It is the newest bridge across the East River and was built to relieve traffic on the adjacent Whitestone Bridge.     The construction of these bridges made a huge impact on the area. As these structures were built it drew tremendous attraction to set down roots in all of the boroughs and helped make our Real Estate industry grow. I hope you enjoy reading up on some history about New York Bridges. Photos are courtesy of Wiki and under their rules allow them to be reposted. For more information please contact Neal The Real Deal Bloom-Realtor® /Keller Williams Properties   Weston Realtor(R) Neal Bloom-copyright 2007 1625 N. Commerce Parkway,Suite 105 Weston FL 33326 (954)608-5556 The Real Deal tells it Like it is in Real Estate-copyright © 2009-All rights reserved


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