Last December my husband and I were lucky enough to spend a week in New York. It was magical and I loved seeing the city all decked out for Christmas. The sights and sounds were amazing. Since it was our second trip to New York and decided to explore a little and headed out to take some pictures of the Manhattan Bridge and Brooklyn Bridge. We did some searching and found that the best place to see both of these was at a place called Brooklyn Bridge Park in the DUMBO neighborhood.
We were staying in Brooklyn, so it wasn’t too far. I love bridges as you may know, so I was so excited to be able to see two of them in the same place. Of course it was winter so the carousel was closed and it was rather quiet. It was also very windy. I can only imagine what it is like during the summer. Even though it was windy, it didn’t deter us from walking around and taking a bunch of pictures of both bridges. Today I am going to share picture and some history on the Manhattan Bridge. Next time I will share more on the Brooklyn Bridge so make sure to come back and check it out.
First off, the Manhattan Bridge is a suspension bridge that crosses the East River and connects Lower Manhattan at Canal Street with Downtown Brooklyn at the Flatbush Avenue Extension. The main span is 1,470 feet long and the suspension cables being 3,224 feet long. The bridge's total length is 6,855 feet. As a side note, it is one of four toll-free bridges spanning the East River; the other three are the Queensboro, Williamsburg, and Brooklyn Bridges. You can check out my travel blog post here for more about those bridges.
While doing research I learned the bridge opened to traffic on December 31, 1909, and was built by The Phoenix Bridge Company. It was designed by Leon Moisseiff, and is noted for its innovative design. Considered to be the forerunner of modern suspension bridges, it’s design served as the model for many of the long-span suspension bridges built in the first half of the twentieth century. The Manhattan Bridge was also the first suspension bridge to utilize a Warren truss in its design.
Interestingly I also found out that the Manhattan Bridge was to have been called "Bridge No. 3" because it was the third bridge to be built. However, the Manhattan Bridge's current name was given in 1902
Even though the bridge wasn’t officially opened to traffic until December 31 of 1909, a group of 100 "leading citizens of Brooklyn" walked over the bridge on December 5, 1909, marking the unofficial completion of the bridge. The bridge was officially opened by outgoing Mayor George B. McClellan Jr. on December 31, 1909.
Today the Manhattan Bridge has four vehicle lanes on the upper level, split between two roadways carrying opposite directions of traffic. The lower level has three Manhattan-bound (formerly reversible) vehicle lanes, four subway tracks, a walkway and a bikeway. Not quite as famous as its neighbor, the Brooklyn Bridge, it is a great bridge to walk. It is less crowded, and if you start in Brooklyn, it drops you off in Chinatown. Great reward for walking the amazing Manhattan Bridge. We had a great visit and I hope to be able to go back and visit again one day soon.