Who built the Brooklyn Bridge?

John A. Roebling, a German-born American engineer, constructed the first truly modern suspension bridge in 1855. Its characteristics included towers supporting massive cables and a roadway suspended from main cables. In 1867, Roebling was given the ambitious task of constructing the Brooklyn Bridge. In his design he proposed the revolutionary idea of using steel wire for cables rather than the less-resilient iron. Just as construction began, Roebling died of tetanus when his foot was crushed in an accident, and his son, Washington A. Roebling, took over the bridge’s construction. Fourteen years later, in 1883, the bridge was completed. At that time, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world, spanning the East River and connecting New York’s Manhattan with Brooklyn. The bridge has a central span of 1,595 feet (486 meters), with its masonry towers rising 276 feet (841 meters) above high water. Today, the Brooklyn Bridge is among the best-known of all American civil engineering accomplishments.


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