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Thread: Brooklyn Bridge

  1. #16
    The Dude Abides
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    Wow. I knew those guys took a lot of pictures from this forum but I wasn't aware they weren't posting some kind of bibliographical reference.

  2. #17
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Amid Mess Left by Floods, Cheers Upstate for Grande Dame of Bridges


    Erik Jacobs/The New York Times
    The Delaware Aqueduct, completed in 1848,
    is the country's oldest wire-cable suspension bridge.

    NY TIMES
    By MANNY FERNANDEZ
    July 3, 2006

    MINISINK FORD, N.Y., July 2 — It has survived the Great Pumpkin Flood of 1903, a fire in the early 1930's and, perhaps most significantly of all, almost 160 years. Last week, not even the floods that tore a wide, costly swath of destruction along the Susquehanna and Delaware Rivers could tear down this one simple old thing.

    A bridge.

    The bridge that spans the Upper Delaware River, connecting Minisink Ford, N.Y., with Lackawaxen, Pa., is not just any bridge. It is the Sullivan County sister of the famed Brooklyn Bridge and was designed by John A. Roebling, the Brooklyn Bridge's architect.


    The New York Times

    Completed in 1848, the Delaware Aqueduct, known commonly as the Roebling Bridge, is the oldest wire-cable suspension bridge in America.

    Last week's floods washed away homes, businesses, cars, cows, trees and, tragically, a wide span of Interstate 88 near Binghamton, N.Y., and the two truckers driving along it. A number of bridges in New York and Pennsylvania were destroyed.

    But Sunday, John Conway, the Sullivan County historian, walked along the Roebling Bridge's wooden towpath. There had been a rumor on the first day of the floods that the bridge had collapsed, but Mr. Conway did not believe it, even though his own home, about four miles away, had seven feet of water in its basement.

    "The bridge has been through a lot," said Mr. Conway, 53, as the muddy waters flowed underneath. During the flooding, the Upper Delaware River rose nearly to the bottom of the span. Sunday, though, instead of carrying debris, the river carried rafters, cheering, in a sign that life had started to return to some normalcy.

    "I wouldn't say it's indestructible, but it survived for 160 years," Mr. Conway said.


    Erik Jacobs/The New York Times
    Rafters were back on the Upper Delaware River underneath it Sunday.

    Here in the green hills of upstate New York, the land of the firefly, the deer crossing and the silent night, old bridges are as vital to transportation as the subways are to New York City. Tourist attractions for some, taken for granted by others, last week they served as a kind of test of man versus nature, of how bad a flood can get and how strong a bridge can be.

    About 48 bridges under the jurisdiction of New York State's Department of Transportation were damaged, a spokeswoman said. Four were completely washed away. As crews inspected the toll, there was no way to know precisely why some of the bridges failed but others did not, why the waters left this one unscathed and that one a memory.

    In Delaware County, six bridges were seriously damaged or destroyed, said Phil Pierce, the county's deputy commissioner of public works. He said the number would increase as officials continued to assess the county's 270 bridges. "Most of the problems we've had relate to the debris that was washed onto the bridges and onto the roads that lead to the bridges, which has prevented us in some cases from getting to the bridge," Mr. Pierce said.

    The county's two-lane Peakes Brook Bridge on Route 10 was swept away, cutting off the main artery into the Village of Walton. The village was a scene of soggy misery Sunday. "We're going to change the name to Mudville," said Keath Davis, owner of Breakey Motors, a Ford dealership left with no cars, but a large sinkhole and jagged asphalt in the lot. "A couple of my cars were washed all the way down to the fairgrounds."

    With most floodwaters having receded, thousands of residents of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania were cleaning mud from their basements and throwing away furniture Sunday. Some were still not permitted back home.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency was still determining the damage, but the government did not add any counties to its list of disaster areas eligible for federal aid. So far, eight New York counties and four in Pennsylvania have been declared disaster areas.

    On the border between New Jersey and Pennsylvania, the bridges that span the Delaware River appeared to have weathered the storm. All but one of the 20 bridges were open Sunday.

    "The water didn't top any of our bridges," said Kelley Heck, a spokeswoman for the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission. "It came at about two or three feet of the deck of our lowest-lying bridges, so I guess we can breathe a sigh of relief."

    Meanwhile, the Roebling Bridge has been closed to traffic indefinitely until it can be inspected. But pedestrians were allowed on the towpaths that sit above the one-lane road Sunday, and they walked casually onto the bridge, a country version of the Sunday-afternoon strolls people were taking 90 miles away on Mr. Roebling's other, more famous, bridge.

    The Roebling Bridge, which was built as an aqueduct for the Delaware and Hudson Canal, was bought by the National Park Service in 1980. The price was $75,000, not that much more than its original cost, $41,750. The Park Service repaired the bridge, reconstructing the roadway and restoring the wrought-iron cables, each containing 2,150 wires.

    "The Roebling Bridge is a grand old lady," said Carla Hahn, who works in the Park Service's Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River office. "She's taken a lot of abuse from a lot of floods for a lot of years. She made it through and she's still standing."

    Samme Chittum and Fernanda Santos contributed reporting for this article.

    Copyright 2006The New York Times Company

  3. #18

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    Is it true that New Yorkers were afraid to cross the Brooklyn Bridge, once it was built.. I heard the city had to ask a circus ( I think Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey) to do something about it. In return, the circus walked 26 elephants across the Brooklyn Bridge all at once.. Only after that, people started using the bridge, little by little.. Correct me if I'm mistaken..

  4. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by milleniumcab
    Is it true that New Yorkers were afraid to cross the Brooklyn Bridge, once it was built.. I heard the city had to ask a circus ( I think Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey) to do something about it. In return, the circus walked 26 elephants across the Brooklyn Bridge all at once.. Only after that, people started using the bridge, little by little.. Correct me if I'm mistaken..
    You're largely mistaken. The bridge officially opened on May 24, 1883, but eager NYers had been sneaking onto it for some time before then. The crowds were overwhelming from the start: "In its initial days as a public thoroughfare it was commonly referred to as 'The Eighth Wonder of the World" and it was an even greater sensation than anyone had expected. On its first full day, May 25, 1883, a total of 150,300 people crossed on foot and 1,800 vehicles went over carrying an unknown number of others." David McCullough, The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge, 1972, p. 543. A week later, congestion on the bridge was so extreme that a panic and near-riot ensued during which 12 people were trampled to death. Id. at 544.




    The worst tragedy to take place on the bridge occurred on May 31, Memorial Day, 1883, only a week after the bridge had
    opened. Some twenty thousand people were on the bridge when a panic began. Reports differ as to how it started, but at a
    narrow stairway twelve people were trampled to death. Others had their clothes torn off. In places, it was reported, people
    were jammed so tight that blood oozed from their noses and ears. The newspapers blamed the Bridge Company for employ-
    ing too few police. The Bridge Company blamed the newspapers for creating public doubts about the stability of the structure.
    Id. At 430-31.

    It was a full year later (May, 1884) that P.T. Barnum took a herd of 21 elephants across the bridge "in the interest of the dear public" and declared it safe. Id. at 546.
    Last edited by ManhattanKnight; July 4th, 2006 at 09:53 AM.

  5. #20

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    ^ Thanks for the clarification...

  6. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by ManhattanKnight



    Does anyone else think this looks exactly like the 4 or 5 trains at 59th street?


  7. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jake
    Does anyone else think this looks exactly like the 4 or 5 trains at 59th street?

    Haha -- stencil a few backwards baseball caps onto some of the figures and the resemblance would be eerie.

  8. #23

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    Brooklyn Bridge Rusts, Awaiting Its First Paint Job Since 1991

    BY IRA STOLL - Staff Reporter of the Sun
    August 29, 2006

    The Brooklyn Bridge, the 123-year-old span between Brooklyn and Manhattan that to this day is a treasured tourist attraction, landmark, and transportation workhorse, is rusting under a coat of paint that hasn't been refreshed since 1991.

    The city's most recent annual report on the condition of bridges and tunnels, just out, rates the Brooklyn Bridge's condition as a 3.15 on a scale of one to seven, with one as "potentially hazardous" and seven as "new." A three rating is used to indicate that a bridge has experienced "serious deterioration," according to the report.

    A spokesman for the City Department of Transportation, which maintains the bridge, Craig Chin, said the bridge would be painted in 2009 as part of a $236 million project that also will include improvements to the bridge's decks, approaches, and ramps. He said the rust visible under the peeling paint on the bridge's structure has not adversely affected its safety.

    "The Brooklyn Bridge is structurally safe," he said.

    He said bridge users concerned about graffiti on the bridge can call the city's 311 telephone line and the Department of Transportation will dispatch maintenance crews to remove it.

    Under the city's four-category system of rating bridges — poor, fair, good, and very good — the Brooklyn Bridge qualified as "fair" in the most recent annual report, which covers the year 2005.

    The rust, peeling paint, and graffiti are visible from the bridge's pedestrian and bicycle walkway, which gets lots of press attention during protest marches and transit strikes, but also is used daily by tourists, by locals for exercise runs and walks, and by a small group of commuters.

    The president of Brooklyn, Marty Markowitz, said in a statement to The New York Sun: "The Brooklyn Bridge is truly a bridge to the world and far more than the sum of its 15,000 tons, it is a living monument to the great vision and ingenuity that define Brooklyn. It is vital that the bridge be maintained with the attention, care, and respect deserving of a world famous symbol of the world class city of Brooklyn."

    The city's bridge and tunnel report for 2005 lists an estimated cost to paint the bridge of $85 million. That's an increase from an estimate of $74 million in the 2004 report. A paint job has been listed as "in design" for the bridge since the city's bridge and tunnel report for 2002.

    Mr. Chin said the bridge's last paint job was between 1985 and 1991 under a state contract.

    A spokeswoman for the Golden Gate Bridge that links San Francisco and Marin County in Northern California, Mary Currie, said that bridge is painted "constantly," "all the time" by a staff of painters.

    See photo slideshow.

    Other bridges around the city are getting maintenance. Verrazano-Narrows span is done, now painting the cables.

  9. #24
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    That's crazy ^

    The Golden Gate Bridge is constantly being painted ...

    BRIDGE WORK
    Bay Bridge painters toil in relative obscurity way up above it all

    SF_CHRONICLE

    ... the crew of 20 full-time painters who work year-round, in sunshine and rain, to cover the bridge with four layers of paint -- red and pink primers, then finally, the two silver coats that drivers in 280,000 cars see every day.

    The work is hard, the pay is moderate and the risks are real, yet these structural steel painters approach their jobs and the bridge they're protecting with an abiding passion.

    "It's like working in a postcard," said Karen Juzefaczyk, who has painted the transbay bridge for 12 years. "The bridge is like a second home."

    Opened on Nov. 12, 1936, the 5 1/2-mile-long Bay Bridge boasts roughly 16 million surface square feet from end to end, most of it paintable. The first toll bridge in California, it is considered an engineering feat ahead of its time.

    "This," said veteran painter Bill Almeida, "is the mother bridge."

    Since the paint breaks down unevenly, the journeymen -- as the painters like to be called in the spirit of old-fashioned American union workers -- work in a piecemeal fashion. They're trained to find the most worn sections, places where rust pokes through silver paint like crocuses in the snow, and attack those first. If a crew of 20 painted its way across the bridge from east to west (which they would never do), Almeida estimates a complete paint job would take 18 or 20 years.

  10. #25

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    New York Times
    January 7, 2006

    To Cross the Bridge, Job No. 1 Is to Get on It

    By ALEX MINDLIN


    There, in the shadows, a stairway to the Brooklyn Bridge.

    You can see them everywhere in the blocks near Cadman Plaza: lost tourists, brows furrowed over guidebooks, looking for that most elusive of landmarks, the Brooklyn Bridge.

    “We had to ask four people,” said Kelli Parsons, 21, a Londoner who on Wednesday morning had just found the entrance to the bridge’s pedestrian footpath.

    “We’re useless,” puffed her mother, Debra.

    That morning, dozens of tourists were discovering one of Downtown Brooklyn’s navigational oddities. Though the Brooklyn Bridge is clearly visible from many of the neighborhood’s streets, its pedestrian entrances are almost unmarked, and nearly impossible to find without directions.

    One entrance is a tiny concrete plaza hidden among five lanes of traffic on Adams Street, half a mile from the bridge itself, at the end of a long, snaking walkway. The second is a narrow stairway hidden beneath an overpass, marked by a single sign that faces toward a parking lot and the East River.

    To make up for the lack of official signage, some unknown good citizen has wired neat hand-painted signs to the fences along the pathways around Cadman Plaza. And neighborhood people are accustomed to being pressed for directions. “I get close to 15 people a day,” said Steven Delgado, a security guard at a New York City Transit repair yard near the overpass. “They’re desperate, trying to get to the bridge. They’re confused.”

    All that may be about to change. The Metrotech Business Improvement District is producing and putting up 120 orange-and-blue signs throughout Downtown Brooklyn, in a $1.5 million project subsidized by the City Council and the borough president, Marty Markowitz. Sixty of the signs will feature large-scale maps on one side showing major neighborhood features, like the Brooklyn Bridge and the Navy Yard, and five or six more will point directly toward the bridge.

    “There are some issues with actually putting signage on the bridge, because it’s a landmark,” said Michael Weiss, the improvement district’s executive director, with a tinge of regret in his voice. “But we will have one at the foot.”

    Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

  11. #26

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    Hmm ... $1,500,000 for 120 signs.

    Let's see ... that's $1250 per sign.

    They could have emulated the "unknown good citizen" and probably done the project for the price of one or two signs. People just wanna know where the bridge entrance is, for gosh' sake; no need to give them a gold-plated history lesson at taxpayer expense.

    10 or 12 well-placed signs would probably have sufficed.

  12. #27
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    That entrance is truly squalid. It is nearly always strewn with trash and rats abound in evening hours. You can always find tourists at te Brooklyn end of the Bridge wondering "what do we do now."

    Cadman Plaza is in th midst of a renovation. However, the street along the whole eastern side of the park (which was just nicely repaved) remains closed to traffic with ugly cement and plastic barriers. I has become a parking lot for NYPD and Federal Court employees who park illegally, park on sidewalks and damange trees and signs by backing into them.

    It is also very frustrating because the noiselevel and generally lousy design of the Manhattan Bridge makes it almost untenable as a real pedestrian option for crossing the East River.

    My pet peeve.

  13. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrooklynRider View Post
    That entrance is truly squalid. It is nearly always strewn with trash and rats abound in evening hours. You can always find tourists at te Brooklyn end of the Bridge wondering "what do we do now."
    You'd think maybe for 1.5 mil they could have cleaned this up and still found more than enough for the signs.

  14. #29
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    That, plus if only they'd put more retail near the entrance to that walkway, we can get the tourists to drop more dollars into the city's economy.

    Just dumb, and this in a city that's known for being enterprising.

  15. #30
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    Honestly, you are right. Just a direction map at the bottom of the stairs (a GOOD map - not the crappy one by Cadman Plaza. Also, at the end of the bikeway path, it just ends at a huge intersction.

    I'm think that if prisoners can make license plates, then they can make these signs as well.

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