4K Brooklyn Bridge Virtual Tour (walk with surround sound + captions)
A map with the location of these stairs is in the description below. The walk across will take you approximately 30 minutes. The Brooklyn Bridge is 5,989 ft. long (or 1825 meters) from one end to the other. The Brooklyn Bridge is open 24 hours per day. It is beautiful at any time of day, but sunsets and sunrises are particularly nice! Approximately 100,000 vehicles cross the bridge daily. And roughly 10,000 pedestrians and 4,000 cyclists also cross daily.
Previously, trams used the bridge. The bridge opened in 1883 and was the longest suspension bridge in the world at that time. Almost twice as long as the next longest.
It was the first major bridge to feature an elevated pedestrian promenade. Pedestrians share the promenade with cyclists. The bridge was built to connect the cites of New York and Brooklyn. As the City of Brooklyn grew, more and more of its residents were crossing the East River every day. The crossings became unmanageable and it was decided that a bridge was needed. To the right is the neighborhood of DUMBO.
Straight ahead is downtown Brooklyn. And to its right is the neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights. Big cities = lots of noise.
Soon we will reach the point where the great cables holding the bridge appear. Directly underneath us is one of the two anchorages holding the bridge in place. And it's here where the bridge's span actually starts. The promenade becomes a boardwalk.
The anchorages also had commercial space what was rented out to store fine wines. This era ended with Prohibition in the 1930s. The anchorage on the Manhattan side would eventually be used as a nuclear fallout shelter.
The bridge in the distance is the Manhattan Bridge. You can now see the impressive and iconic cables that help support this bridge. The four main cables that you see contain over 5,000 steel wires inside each. Each of these is nearly 16 inches (41 cm) in diameter and is 3,578 feet (1090 m) in length. Over 1,000 smaller cables attach these to the deck.
Barriers have been installed to discourage climbers. If you laid all of the wires on the bridge ends to end, it would reach 14,000 miles or 22,000 kilometers. Long enough to go back and forth to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, twice. And despite having some faulty wires, the bridge is still 6x stronger than necessary.
We also offer a guided walk across the bridge (link in the description below) The bridge's towers are in the gothic style, which was popular at the time of construction. The height of this tower from the water is 276.5 feet or 84.3 meters. The height from the promenade to the top is 117 feet or 35.6 meters. The towers were among the tallest structures in the world.
The bridge is currently undergoing major repair work. In the distance is Midtown Manhattan. Lower Manhattan and the New York Harbor. The bridge's original designer, John Roebling, died before the bridge was started. The bridge was finished by his son, Washington, and daughter-in-law Emily. It's an interesting story (links below for more information) Here are more of those barriers.
The bridge suffered a tragedy when a stampede broke out in the bridge's first days. Some people falsely believed the bridge was collapsing. Many people were unfortunately killed in the chaos. P.T. Barnum would walk a dozen circus elephants across the bridge to demonstrate its strength.
In order to reach bedrock, caissons were employed. These caissons were huge pine boxes with no floors. Each was the size of 4 tennis courts. They were sank and pressurized air was pumped in to keep the water out. Picture holding a bucket upside down in a bathtub, as long as you keep the pressure on it. The air will stay trapped and the water will stay out.
This is how the caissons were used during construction. Unfortunately, many workers suffered decompression sickness. The Brooklyn tower is actually not built on bedrock. They stopped just short. What a nice day! When the bridge first opened, it was the highest most New Yorkers had ever been in their lives.
At well over 100 years old, the bridge was due for major renovations. The current project is approaching $1 billion. The Brooklyn Bridge span spills out into City Hall Park South Street Seaport is just off to the left and a place you could visit after finishing your walk. There is a shopping center, a museum, historic ships and lots more to do.
The tall building with the spire in the background on the left is 1 World Trade Center. It's the tallest building in NYC at 1,776 feet (541 m) to the top of the spire. There is an observation deck there with 360-degree views from Lower Manhattan. The wavy building up ahead and to the left is a Frank Gehry building.
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The building on the right just ahead with the wedding cake top is the city's Municipal Building.