Tuesday, 20 July 2010

The Manhattan Bridge, New York

The bridges of New York are large and impressive. The Manhattan Bridge brought us into Manhattan from the airport, and took us back to the airport on our way home.
The Manhattan Bridge 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. The bridge was opened to traffic on December 31, 1909 and was designed by Leon Moisseiff,[1] who later designed the infamous original Tacoma Narrows Bridge that opened and collapsed in 1940. It has four vehicle lanes on the upper level (split between two roadways). The lower level has three lanes, four subway tracks, a walkway and a bikeway. The upper level, originally used for streetcars, has two lanes in each direction, and the lower level is one-way and has three lanes in peak direction. It once carried New York State Route 27 and later was planned to carry Interstate 478. No tolls are charged for motor vehicles to use the Manhattan Bridge.

The original pedestrian walkway on the south side of the bridge was reopened after forty years in June 2001.[4] It was also used by bicycles until late summer 2004, when a dedicated bicycle path was opened on the north side of the bridge, and again in 2007 while the bike lane was used for truck access during repairs to the lower motor roadway. Wikipedia
The bridge is long and tall enough that the thought of taking the pedestrian walkway across was not an option for one of my sisters. We were so busy, anyway, that we did not have time even if we'd wanted to walk across.

Our tour guides spoke of the bridge being originally planned by an Engineer who was later injured on the job and wouldn't go to the hospital because he didn't believe in them. He died of infection and his son took over the construction oversight. His son became ill at some point and his wife was the one who travelled to and from the bridge site delivering messages about the construction. The tour guides often joked that th bridge was the first of its size to be built by a woman.

However history tells the story, it's an impressive sight.

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