Brooklyn Bridge Construction

The Brooklyn Bridge, before the construction of the walkway, probably taken around 1880. Photo courtesy of the New York Public Library.

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The scene in 2013:


The Brooklyn Bridge opened in 1883, but before the roadway could be built, the towers were connected by a narrow walkway.  Although intended for the workers, it was also open to the public, and was a popular destination, to the point where bridge management had to start issuing passes in order to cross.  Of course, this was in the days before OSHA regulations and other safety measures, but it actually wasn’t as dangerous as it looks.  Some publicity-seeking daredevils even jumped off of it and into the East River, with varying success rates.  Upon completion of the bridge, the present-day walkway opened, which can be seen around the turn of the last century in this post.  Thankfully, modern-day bridge pedestrians need not balance themselves on a narrow catwalk, nor ascend and descend the two 272-foot tall bridge towers in order to cross the river.

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