New York Daily Photo Analytics

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Twist and Shout

The Manhattan Bridge was the last of the three great suspension bridges built across the East River (the other two are the Brooklyn and Williamsburg). The bridge connects lower Manhattan (Canal Street) with Brooklyn (Flatbush Avenue). The photo is from the Brooklyn side in DUMBO. The bridge, completed in 1909, carries tremendous traffic: two roadways, upper and lower, with 6 lanes of vehicular traffic, subway tracks, a walkway and bikeway. It has, however, been plagued with problems from its inception which were neglected until recently. The bridge designer, Leon Moisseiff, located the subway tracks on the outer sides of the roadway rather than the center. The design flaw was discovered soon after construction - the bridge twisted whenever a train passed. The problem got worse, movement in the roadway (as much as several feet up and down) caused cracking. Crying out for repairs, the bridge was neglected with the NYC fiscal crisis in the 1970s. A major reconstruction finally began in 1982 and will only see completion in 2013 at a cost of $829 million. It is interesting that Moisseiff, known for his work on deflection theory allowing for lighter and more graceful structures, was engineer for the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, consultant for the Golden Gate Bridge, one of the designers for the San Francisco-Oakland Bridge and primary designer for the Tacoma Narrows Bridge which Moisseiff called the "most beautiful bridge in the world." However, the bridge collapsed in a windstorm only four months after opening, leaving a damaged legacy ...

9 comments:

Dsole said...

awesome!!!

Steve said...

It's very . . .blue! :-D

And it can't hold a candle to the Benjamin Franklin Bridge between Philadelphia and Camden . . . wich is also blue! :-)f

Lucy said...

very scary, and interesting to know this information -- almost makes me want to avoid taking trains that goes over this bridge tho I'm sure they monitor carefully for problems - I recall some subway lines not going over the bridge for awhile at one point...

Abraham Lincoln said...

You got a mafnificent photograph of an nice old bridge.

Abraham Lincoln
Brookville Daily Photo

Anonymous said...

Great post....it's for sure a sad legacy that taints a brilliant engineer.

Beth said...

Ahh, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, aka Galloping Gertie. Video was captured of the thing literally twisting itself apart (you can sometimes see it on PBS). Amazing and scary.

Brian said...

If you search youtube, there are quite a few pieces of film showing the collapse - here's one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mclp9QmCGs

Brian

Prokur said...

As I undrestood from this post, Leon Moisseiff is completely loooser :)

His possible namesake Boris Moiseev (Russian singer) is flunky also.

Merisi's Vienna For Beginners said...

Grand picture of a beautiful bridge.