Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Williamsburg Bridge is a suspension bridge in New York City across the East River connecting Manhattan at Delancey St. with the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn on Long Island at Broadway near the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (Interstate 278).
Construction on the bridge began in 1896. and opened on December 19, 1903 at a cost of $12,000,000. At the time it was constructed, the Williamsburg Bridge was the largest suspension bridge on Earth. It remained such until the Bear Mountain Bridge was completed in 1924. The main span of the bridge is 1600 feet (488 meters). It is 7308 feet (2227 meters) long, between cable anchor terminals, and the deck is 118 feet (36 meters) wide. The height at the center of the brige is 135 feet (41 meters) and each tower is 335 feet (102 meters); these measurements taken from the river's surface at high water mark. According to the outstanding film Over The East River published in 1919 by the Ford Motor Company, the bridge had 4 trollies, 2 cable tracks, 2 roadways, and 2 foot walks.
For a while the Long Island Rail Road used the tracks in the center of the bridge in tandem with the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company elevated railroad; today the New York City Subway J, M and Z trains use these tracks.
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