New York Architecture Images-New York Bridges

Williamsburg Bridge

  click here for Williamsburg Bridge gallery
  Contemporary black and white images on this page copyright Dave Frieder ( ). Special thanks to Dave Frieder for permission to use images.


 Designed by Lefferts Leffert Buck (Gustav Lindenthal Bridge Commissioner).


Delancey Street Manhattan to Broadway Williamsburg.




Structural Expressionism




Suspension Bridge


Type Suspension   Year Opened 1903
# of Decks 1   # of lanes/tracks 8 lanes, 2 tracks
Total Length 7308 ft   Main Span Length 1600 ft
Highway/RR No Highway #, NYC Subway   Misc Connects Williamsburg, Brooklyn with the lower east side of Manhattan
Toll None  
Comments This bridge is often forgotten about as is it uptown from the famous downtown bridges. It has two subway tracks for the J/M/Z lines.
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  Dave Frieder Gallery. Copyright Dave Frieder ( )
The Williamsburg Bridge is a suspension bridge in New York City across the East River connecting the Lower East Side of Manhattan at Delancey Street with the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn on Long Island at Broadway near the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (Interstate 278). It once carried New York State Route 27A and later Interstate 78.

Construction on the bridge, the second to cross this river, began in 1896, with Leffert L. Buck as chief engineer, Henry Hornbostel as architect and Holton D. Robinson as assistant engineer, and the bridge 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, and remained so until the Bear Mountain Bridge was completed in 1924. It is an unconventional structure, as suspension bridges go; though the main span hangs from cables in the usual manner, the side spans leading to the approaches are cantilevered, drawing no support from the cables above. The main span of the bridge is 1600 feet (488 m) long. The entire bridge is 7308 feet (2227 m) long between cable anchor terminals, and the deck is 118 feet (36 m) wide. The height at the center of the bridge is 135 feet (41 m) and each tower is 335 feet (102 m); these measurements taken from the river's surface at high water mark.

This bridge and the Manhattan Bridge are the only suspension bridges in New York City that still carry both automobile and rail traffic. In addition to this two-track rail line, connecting the New York City Subway's BMT Nassau Street Line and BMT Jamaica Line, there were once two sets of trolley tracks.

The Brooklyn landing is between Grand Street and Broadway, which both had ferries at the time. Both withered and went out of business in the following years.

The bridge has been under reconstruction since the 1980s, largely to repair damage caused by decades of deferred maintenance. The cast iron stairway on the Manhattan side, and the steep ramp from Driggs Avenue on the Williamsburg side to the footwalks, were replaced to allow handicapped access in the 1990s. The bridge celebrated its 100th anniversary in December 2003.

No tolls are charged for motor vehicles to use the bridge.

Had the Lower Manhattan Expressway been built, the Williamsburg Bridge would have obtained the Interstate 78 designation.

Rail tracks
The rapid transit tracks in the center of the bridge were initially used by the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company elevated railroad. Today, the New York City Subway J M Z trains use these tracks.


The Williamsburg Bridge appears in the movies The Lost Weekend (1945), The Naked City (1948), Johnny Suede (1991), American Gangster (2007), and the 1973 James Bond film Live and Let Die and the novel The Alienist (1994) by Caleb Carr. The bridge is also in the beginning of film The Naked Brothers Band.
American jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins would venture to the Williamsburg Bridge to spare a neighboring expectant mother the sound of his practice routine.
Altamonte lead singer James Cashman refers to the Williamsburg Bridge in the song "Hannah".

Full span, as seen from Wallabout Bay with Greenpoint and Long Island City in backtround
Locals frequently refer to the bridge as the "Willy B."[citation needed]



Compiled by Dave "The Bridge Man" Frieder

Construction Commenced -- Nov. 7th 1896
Construction of Main Cables Commenced-- Aug. 11th 1901
Opened To Traffic-- Dec. 19th 1903 6:00 a.m.
Bridge Commissioner at the Time-- Gustav Lindenthal *
* same person who built Hell Gate Bridge and Queensborough Bridge [originally known as Blackwells Island Bridge.]
Total length of Bridge-- 7308 feet
Length of Suspended Span-- 1600 feet . 4 feet 6 inches longer than the Brooklyn Bridge.
Side Spans length each-- 596' 6"
Height of Steel Towers above Mean Water Height-- 332' 9"
Towers sunk to Bedrock by Pneumatic Caisson Method, same as Brooklyn Bridge
Center of Roadway above Mean Water Height 135 feet
Stiffening Truss-- 40 feet high, Lattice "Town Type" Truss.
Main Cables-- 4. Wires per cable 8112. Strands per Cable 39. Wires per Strand 208.
All wires in Main Cables are of the Non-Galvanized Type.
Cable Diameter-- 18 6/10 inches including wrapping.
Length of each of the four cables--3224 feet.
Total length of wire in the four cables--23,132 Miles.
Total Weight of Steel in Bridge and Approaches 47,800 Tons.
Approximate cost of construction, in 1903-- $24,188,090.00

When first opened in 1903, Williamsburg Bridge had four surface or trolley tracks(Streetcars) and two elevated, or regular train tracks. Regular train service did not cross bridge until 1908. Now, the bridge, has two inner and two outer vehicular roadways and two subway tracks. Also two 17' wide foot walks.
The Williamsburg was the first all steel, large scale, suspension bridge. Leffert Lefferts Buck, chief engineer. Born in Canton, New York.  Buck felt it was not necessary to galvanize main cable wires. Side spans not suspended, rather supported by steel viaducts. Originally one support per side span, in 1913 two extra supports per span were added due to increased traffic loads. Total of three supports per side span.

Williamsburg Brooklyn was named after Colonel Jonathan Williams a U.S. engineer and a a grand nephew to Ben Franklin. Area was incorporated as a village in 1827. In 1998 Brooklyn will 100 years as a borough of the City of New York. The original Dutch spelling of Brooklyn is BREUKELEN.

The Williamsburg Bridge is one of three bridges to use Non-flexible type of towers. The other two bridges are, the Brooklyn Bridge and the George Washington Bridge.  The main cables of the Williamsburg bridge were spun by John A. Roebling Sons inc. Same company spun cables for the magnificent Manhattan Bridge and the great George Washington Bridge. Since the wires in the main cables in the Williamsburg Bridge are not galvanized the bridge engineers have had a problem in terms of protecting them from corrosion. Recent modern methods have been used to repair and protect the cables.

The Williamsburg Bridge

Information From the Library of Congress


Williamsburg Bridge, New York, New York
Williamsburg Bridge,
New York, New York,
circa 1903-1910.
Touring Turn-of-the-Century America, 1880-1920

On December 19, 1903, New Yorkers celebrated the opening of the Williamsburg Bridge, the second of three steel-frame suspension bridges to span the East River. Designed by Leffert L. Buck and Henry Hornbostel, it had taken over seven years to complete. Built to alleviate traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge and to provide a link between Manhattan and the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, the 1,600 foot Williamsburg Bridge was the world's longest suspension bridge until the 1920s.

Originally open to horse-drawn carriages, bicycles, and pedestrians, the Williamsburg Bridge soon became a vital transportation route for trolleys and trains, spurring the growth of Brooklyn's working-class neighborhoods. In the 1920s, the bridge was reconfigured to accommodate eight lanes of traffic. Today, it carries over 140,000 vehicles per day and some 100,000 subway riders.

On hand to film the opening of the Williamsburg Bridge were cameramen James Blair Smith and G.W. "Billy" Bitzer. Their films, Opening of New East River Bridge, produced by the Thomas Edison Company, and Opening the Williamsburg Bridge, produced by the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company, contain footage of the bridge and close-ups of the dignitaries and press in attendance. Note the large wooden "box" cameras carried by the press photographers.


Opening of new East River bridge, New York
Opening of New East River Bridge,
Thomas A. Edison, Inc., December 19, 1903.
Life of a City: New York, 1898-1906



"Considered from the aesthetic standpoint, the (Williamsburg) Bridge is destined always to suffer by comparison with its neighbor, the (Brooklyn) Bridge. Whatever criticism has been made against the conservative features of the latter structure, it has always been conceded to be an extremely graceful and well-balanced design. It is possible that, were it not in existence, we would not hear so many strictures upon the manifest want of beauty in the later and larger (Williamsburg) Bridge, which is destined to be popular more on account of its size and usefulness than its graceful lines. As a matter of fact, the (Williamsburg) Bridge is an engineer's bridge pure and simple. The eye may range from anchorage to anchorage, and from pier to finial of the tower without finding a single detail that suggests controlling motive, either in its design or fashioning other than bald utility." - Scientific American (1903)
No poetry has been written about it, as Hart Crane did with the Brooklyn Bridge. No songs have been written about it, as Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel did with the 59th Street (Queensboro) Bridge. No one ever attempted to sell this bridge. Indeed, before it was ever completed, the span was described by John DeWitt Warner as a "surrender of the City Beautiful to the City Vulgar." While not renowned for its beauty, the Williamsburg Bridge has fulfilled its original mission to relieve traffic congestion on the Brooklyn Bridge, and to serve as an important link between Manhattan and the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn.

PLANNING THE SECOND EAST RIVER SPAN: As early as the late 1860's, John Roebling, the designer of the Brooklyn Bridge, anticipated the need for additional bridges across the East River to keep up with population growth in the cities of New York and Brooklyn. One bridge was proposed between the Lower East Side of Manhattan and the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. Throughout the 1880's, leaders in Williamsburg battled officials in New York City and powerful ferry interests who did not want the bridge. Although legislative approval had been obtained from Albany for construction of the bridge, the bill was not followed up by appropriations.

In 1892, Frederick Uhlmann, who sought to extend his Brooklyn elevated railways across the East River into Manhattan, planned two new rail lines: one serving the West Side manufacturing districts, and the other serving the Wall Street area. He also planned two bridges: a suspension bridge for trains, carriages and pedestrians at the present site of the Williamsburg Bridge, and a cantilever bridge exclusively for trains just north of the present site of the Manhattan Bridge. In March 1892, the New York State Legislature approved a bill that founded the East River Bridge Company.

Stymied by legal battles between Uhlmann and the elevated railway interests in Manhattan, leaders in Williamsburg lobbied Albany for the creation of a new body, the New East River Bridge Commission, and in May 1895, the new commission purchased Uhlmann's charter for $200,000.

CONSTRUCTION OF THE WILLIAMSBURG BRIDGE: Leffert L. Buck, the newly appointed chief engineer, first announced plans for the Williamsburg Bridge in an 1896 issue of Engineering News. The cost of the proposed bridge was originally estimated at $7 million, less than the $15 million cost of the Brooklyn Bridge. Construction began in November of that year.
From the onset, economic considerations strongly influenced the design of the Williamsburg Bridge. The decision to have the cables come down straight from the towers to the anchorages and not support the side spans meant that shorter and lighter cables could be used. Employing less expensive, lighter steel towers meant that foundations could be made smaller and that towers could be built taller. Steel was also used for the approaches, cutting the time and expense of constructing masonry-arch approaches.

The 1,600-foot-long main suspension span for the Williamsburg Bridge exceeded the previous record-holder, the Brooklyn Bridge, by four and one-half feet. Compared to the main span, the 300-foot-long side spans are relatively short. However, the side spans are supported not by suspender cables, but from steel arches from below. From approach to approach, the bridge was 7,200 feet long.

The 310-foot-tall towers, the first all-steel towers to be employed for a suspension bridge, support four main cables, which are carried on saddles atop the towers. Each of the 4,344-ton main cables, which measure 18¾ inches in diameter, is comprised of 37 strands of 208 wires. Unlike those found on other New York bridges, the wires on the Williamsburg Bridge were not galvanized, making them less susceptible to hydrogen embrittlement. (However, the wires do have the problem of rusting due to the absence of a commonly applied zinc coating.) Nearly 17,500 miles of wire are used in the cables that suspend the bridge 135 feet above the East River.

The 40-foot-deep stiffening trusses were designed not only to withstand high winds, but also to support rail traffic on the deck. Originally, the design had the above-deck truss shift below the deck at the side spans. Later, the design was changed such that the stiffening truss was above the deck from anchorage to anchorage.

Despite the technological advances, doubts were raised about the bridge after a fire in November 1902. The fire, which started in a worker shack atop one of the towers, spread to the cables and foot walks. However, damage to the structure was minimal. Proving the bridge's strength, the Roebling Company, which provided the wire rope and woven the cables, simply spliced new wires into the burned-out section.

When noted bridge designer Gustav Lindenthal took over as chief engineer of the Williamsburg Bridge in 1902, he had serious reservations about the design and appearance of the bridge. Nevertheless, with the bridge nearing completion, he continued the project. Upon the completion of the Williamsburg Bridge, Lindenthal avoided references to its design, emphasizing instead that it was twice as strong as the Brooklyn Bridge.

THE SECOND EAST RIVER BRIDGE OPENS: The Williamsburg Bridge opened on December 19, 1903 to horse-drawn carriages, bicycles and pedestrians. However, due to complications between Greater New York and the privately owned railway companies, elevated trains did not run on the bridge until 1908. The final cost of the bridge and its approaches was $24.2 million, more than three times the original cost estimate.

For a brief period, the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) ran passenger service along an elevated extension across the Williamsburg Bridge into Manhattan. The LIRR spur split from the existing Atlantic Avenue line northwest onto the Broadway elevated line (today's J, M and Z subway lines), crossed the Williamsburg Bridge, and continued south to Chambers Street.

The bridge not only served the traffic needs of a growing population, but also greatly affected migration patterns of ethnic groups. Before the bridge opened, first- and second-generation Irish and German settlers (who called the enclave "Kleine Deutschland") lived in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. When it opened, an influx of Jewish settlers from the overcrowded Lower East Side crossed the "Jews' Bridge" into Williamsburg. In turn, long-time residents moved out to Queens.

In 1910, the City of New York removed the toll on the Williamsburg Bridge after it passed a law prohibiting the use of tolls to finance bridge construction and maintenance

Type of bridge……………………………………..……………... Suspension
Construction started……………………………………………... November 7, 1896
Opened to traffic…………………………………………………. December 19, 1903
Length of main span…………………………………………….. 1,600 feet
Length of side spans…………………………………………….  300 feet
Length, anchorage to anchorage……………………….……… 2,200 feet
Total length of bridge and approaches…………………..…….. 7,308 feet
Number of traffic lanes…………………………………………... 8 lanes
Number of subway tracks……………………………………….. 2 tracks
Height of towers above mean high water…………………..….. 310 feet
Clearance at center above mean high water………………..... 135 feet
Number of cables…………………………………………………. 4 cables
Length of each of four cables……………………………..…….. 2,985 feet
Diameter of each cable………………………………………….. 18¾ inches
Total length of wires…………………………….……………….. 17,500 miles
Weight of cables and suspenders…………………………….... 4,344 tons
Structural material………………………………………………... Steel
Tower material……………………………………………………. Steel
Deck material……………………………………………………... Steel
Cost of original structure………………………………………... $24,200,000


An XXXcellent Bridge
by Greg Ayres

New York has its mutated mountain range of buildings and landmarks, but more than just the visible structures, there are layers upon layers of phantom architecture in the form of past occupancies,aborted projects and popular \fantasies that provide completely different images to the New York that exists now.

Like Willie Wonka's infamous jaw-breaker, NYC is made up of layer upon layer of distinctly different flavors, stacked snugly one on top of the other. Rem Koolhaas says that New York is fated to a "Cyclic restatement of a single theme: creation and destruction irrevocably interlocked, endlessly reenacted. Barbarism giving way to refinement." So if it's worth sucking away at some of the layers, then we might as well eat our way to the very historical core, when Mother Nature's wild children roamed the lush hills, valleys and marshlands of New York. It was 1609 when the Mohican tribes lost the land that was originally their birthright to Henry Hudson and the parade of "civilized", white culture which closely followed. The old world (Europe and Eastern civilization) was becoming over crowded and people were looking to the west - towards the promised land. Millions of Christians were ready to cross their arresting geographical barrier into the unknown, new world of America. "North American barbarism insidiously giving way to European refinement." Sometime in the mid 1620's, New Amsterdam (the original name for New York) was colonized and the whole aboriginal race was plucked by the stem and uprooted. FAST FORWARD: ABOUT TWO HUNDRED YEARS It's the early 1800's and humans have congregated in unprecedented densities in Manhattan. Richard Woodhill begins to offer a ferry service departing from Corlear's Hook in Manhattan. The destination: his recently purchased 13 acre parcel of land - which he named Jonathan Williams. The ferry docks at the foot of what is now N.2nd Street in Brooklyn. He was hoping to develop a domestic refuge for the masses working in the city; alas, Woodhill's plans never came to fruition. Then, in 1818, David Dunham succeeded where Woodhill had not, becoming the father of Williamsburgh. In 1852, with the population just brimming at 31 thousand, Williamsburgh incorporated as a city, consolidated with Brooklyn, and dropped the "h" to become Williamsburg. The community, which was agriculturally based, rapidly became what might be called North America's first suburb. Skirting the world's greatest industrial carnival, it was inevitable that people would seek cover from life's laborious storm, in the waiting arms of Williamsburg. Sanctuary was just a boat ride across the East River.


Then in 1883, Brooklyn officially consummated its relationship to Manhattan, with the completion of the Brooklyn Bridge. The Culture of Congestion. New York architecture is a model for the exploitation of congestion. Between 1890 and 1940 a new culture selected manhattan as a laboratory - where the invention and testing of a metropolitan lifestyle and its attendant architecture could be pursued as a collective experiment in which the entire city became a factory of man made experience. Here, the splendor and misery of the metropolitan condition combine to formulate hyper density. The recipe alchemizes innovation with absurdity, and a strange brew bubbles over. Peoples' attitudes were on the cusp of daring adventure. It is the turn of the century - the gay nineties. There is an air of the fantastic surrounding everything and anything is possible. MAKING NUMBER TWO By 1900, the population of Williamsburg had escalated to 105 thousand. Under pressure from Senator Patrick McCarren, the powers that be in Albany, grudgingly appropriated funds for the building of the Williamsburg Bridge. The building committee commissioned Lefert L. Buck to design what was provisionally called, "No. 2". It was the beginning of a new age - that of the machine - brightly lit by the industrial dawning of steel. Buck put himself at the epicenter of this innovation by erecting two steel towers - looming 325 feet over the East River. The bridge was criticized from the moment the plan was unveiled, for its graceless form and bald utility. Built as an alternative to the overcrowded Brooklyn Bridge, it was the longest and heaviest suspension bridge in the world. Buck reinforced his behemoth creation with steel lattice work, called stiffening trusses. The structures which extend between the anchorages, (and give the bridge great strength) were not aesthetically favored by citizens at large. The design could have been a response to Alexendre Gustav Eiffel, who had become famous for his tower - built in 1889. It's even possible that the two prodigious architects could have met previously when they were both building railways in South America, circa late 1870's. But there was something Buck was doing that Eiffel had not; he was using steel. Favored or not, Buck was clearly at the forefront of this particular architectural revolution. Consistent with its cycle of destroying the old to make way for the new, the city went about auctioning off homes that stood in the unfortunate way of progress.

The bridge was certainly no respecter of private property. The process was ruthless; as dwellings, churches and theaters were rapidly destroyed to make room for the entranceways on either side of the River. In Manhattan and Brooklyn together, almost 20 thousand people were displaced. Homes and landmarks were not the only casualties of advancement - thirty-one men lost their lives while building the bridge. Construction, was in and of itself a perilous feat. Men seemingly hung in mid-air, perched on a "false bridge" (wooden scaffolding) or dangled from a precarious pulley system as they ran the incredibly heavy cables back and forth. One of the most treacherous jobs was digging the foundations which would hold the anchorages. The men who dug were called sand hogs, and once they got down to a depth of 70-90 feet they were paid an astounding $3.25 per hour. Lack of oxygen and exhaustion allowing only a few hours of work at a time for each man. Originally scheduled to take five years to build, construction was set back by a disastrous fire in 1902. A rivet stove near the very top of the false bridge was tipped over by a weary worker and the wooden framework went up like a match. Fire fighters arrived at the scene, only to watch helplessly as the flames blazed over three hundred feet above their heads. Miraculously, the damage was minimal and construction resumed at an even more furious pace. Finally, on a cold and hazy morning. a gray, yet luminous veil hung over the East River and blanketed the seven thousand, three hundred and twenty-five foot long passageway. It was December 19, 1903, the official opening day of the Williamsburg Bridge. It had taken seven years, 15 million dollars and thirty one lives to create what most people were calling a monstrous eyesore. Now as the sun rose and the fog lifted, the Williamsburg Bridge came into full visibility. The Mayor of New York City, Seth Low stood at the entrance-way to the Manhattan side of the bridge. J. Edward Swanstrom, president of the Borough of Brooklyn, stood at the opposite end. At 2:30 pm the two men walked onto the bridge and a few minutes later, just east of the exact center, shook hands. It was a gesture which represented the manifestation of a dream called The Greater New York Area - the greatest city in the world. The same year that the WB opened, Frederick Thompson opened Luna Park, an amusement pavilion to rival Coney Island.  

He said, "It's marvelous what you can do in the way of arousing human emotions by the use you can make architecturally of simple lines." When the bridge opened officially to the public on December 20th, people had been waiting in the cold, winter darkness since midnight, to be among the first on the bridge. Potential record setters crowded at the entrance ways on both ends. The first man to make a round trip - Wally Owens, did so in a shiny, red, horseless carriage. Nearly mowing down several police officers, he made the trip in six minutes and fifty seconds. As the day wore on, many other records were set. The first couple to kiss; the first one-legged man to stump across. A bicyclist, rode backwards, with much difficulty. And at 6:20pm the first dog trotted across. The most noteworthy record was set by a nameless maverick - who brought a flask along - to be the first person to get drunk on the bridge. The Williamsburg Bridge was seen as a passageway to a new life by thousands of Jewish immigrants fleeing the slums of the Lower East Side. They and others flocked to the latest addition of Greater New York like over-worked Manhattan-ites escaping reality at the latest amusement park. In 1917 Williamsburg had the most densely populated blocks in the city and by 1920 the population was soaring at 260 thousand. The numbers continued to climb, as the thirties brought refugees evading the dark blanket of Nazism which was spreading at an alarming rate. Bessie Smith's A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (pub. 1943), tells the story of Francie, growing up in the neighborhood before WWI. Francie looks at the bridge from her roof and sees it as a means of escape from her dull domestic life. Later, when she finally crosses it, she is disillusioned by Manhattan. The Bridge still seems like a means for escape, but for escaping from Manhattan rather than to it. When enough people finally escape, then perhaps the cycle of destroying the old to make way for the new will begin again. Perhaps it¹s sad to think of another really cool layer of life getting covered up. But a neighborhood can't truly live if it's living in the past. So the culture of congestion will continue consuming history to make room for itself. The flavor keeps changing. And really isn't that what makes our city so great. So keep sucking on that gobstopper. Change is ultimately best when embraced lovingly. Why resist? The next thing you taste just might be the transformation of a lifetime.






special thanks to 

  Replacement for corroding 1903 bridge connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan 
Preliminary design completed 1988 

Lead Designers: Henry N. Cobb, Harold Fredenburgh 

Structural Engineer: Dr. Bruno Thürliman 

This proposal calls for the erection of a cable-stayed bridge just 48 feet to the south side of the existing bridge. Construction, executed over 32 months, would be accomplished without interruption of navigation, vehicular traffic or mass transit. Upon completion of the bridge, sections of the approach viaducts would be laterally launched — literally slipped into place — and attached to existing touchdown points in Manhattan and Brooklyn, requiring a one-time traffic shutdown of only 80 hours. 

The bridge has a central span of 1,600 feet and side spans of 661 feet. The main bridge deck and viaducts consist of 10-foot reinforced concrete slabs that rest on transverse beams spaced 22 feet apart, and provide a system for deck replacement without auxiliary support. The width of the deck is kept to a minimum (105 feet) by locating transit below the roadway. This strategy permits simpler structural solutions and a more advantageous placement of supports, while providing the bridge with a slender appearance and avoiding unnecessary impingements on the land at either end. The tracks are rerouted in Brooklyn to skirt the south side of Washington Plaza, instead of bisecting it as they do today, in order to enhance the urban potential of the area. 

Two Delta-Frame bridge towers rise 585 feet above the river. Each encloses the top cable anchors of the bridge in humidity-controlled chambers for protection against corrosion. Other innovative systems facilitate the inspection and renewal of bottom anchors and the replacement of cables without temporary strengthening. The legs of each tower, twisted 90 degrees, yield necessary longitudinal stiffness at the base of the bridge and the required transverse stiffness at the top, all within the context of an elegant architectural solution. 

Motorists and subway passengers enjoy skyline views through open construction while pedestrians and bicyclists, removed from traffic on an upper timber deck, enjoy spectacular views in every direction. Scenic remnants of the granite abutments of the old bridge are incorporated as belvederes into pedestrian systems on either side of the river, and are supplemented in Manhattan by a new foot ramp to the East River esplanade. A new vehicular link to the FDR Drive is also proposed to alleviate congestion. Improvements to the Brooklyn embankment include a new bus facility and green market on land gained from the realigned tracks. 

Major Components 

Cable-stayed 1,600 ft. main span, 661 ft. side spans; Delta-Frame towers: legs rotate through 90°, join at 432 ft. above water; tower height 585 ft. above water; road deck 170 ft. above water; navigational clearance: 135 ft.; three transit tracks below road deck; timber deck above roadway for pedestrian/bike access  

Proposal is most probably dead given the current bridge is repaired.