A day like this 125 years ago, the Brooklyn Bridge at NY was opened to the traffic.
photo: Brooklyn Bridge, 1896. By Geo. P. Hall & son
The history of this suspension bridge is the history of the family Roebling: John A. Roebling, that projected and died in the beginning of the works; his son Washington who took up again the project and got descompression illness because he worked into the pneumatic caissons; and Whasington’s wife, Emily Warren, who became one of the first female construction manager of the history supervising the works and passing on her husband’s orders.
Science, aesthetics, poetry and heroism. Those were essence of Brooklyn bridge, essence of real Civil Engineering.
This bridge is an execptional monument to overcoming the difficulties in engineering works. Political pressure, technical difficulties in the foundation, and the Spanish Civil War (concrete suspenders were the solution against lack of steel) delayed decades the end of works until 1943.
The great touch of this bridge is the reinforfed concrete central arch, 75 m. of tied deck span, the third in the world in those days. About this, there’s an urban legend about the great civil engineer D. Eduardo Torroja is the author of the project. In fact, D. Eduardo helped with his advice making a three-joint arch better than a two-joint one during the execution of the works. But the final result was thanks to several engineers since 1922 to 1943.
There are two very interesting technical articles by engineer Cesar Villalba Granda in the Revista de Obras Públicas(Works Magazine of Spanish Civil Engineers) :
This is a recent realization by Francisco Javier Manterola’s consulting office. Manterola is professor in the Civil Engineers School of Madrid, and one of the best bridges engineers in Spain. I was taking photos to my town planning work, and I took it.