The Brooklyn Bridge is incredibly safe. So why did so many people die when it was built?
If you’ve ever been worried about the thousands of people and vehicles crossing the famous Brooklyn Bridge every day, let us put your mind to rest.
Trust us, this bridge can handle the extreme stress.
Strangely, that’s because the engineers who originally built the wonder thought they would be working with some really awful material and had to overcompensate.
The bridge was planned to be overbuilt since manufacturer fraud was all too common in that era.
The materials the builders got, primarily the wire that went into the main cables, were substandard and would barely hold if it was planned like a normal bridge should. Upon construction, even with the bad wires, the cables had a safety factor of five, or about five times stronger than they actually needed to be.
Even though the bridge may be safe, that doesn’t mean there isn’t death and tragedy surrounding it. Nearly 40 lives were lost while building it, including the man who was the creative genius behind the design and his son who took on the project after his death. When it finally opened, a dozen people were trampled to death when people thought the bridge was giving way.
Since then, the record’s been astonishingly clean. Only one death was caused by the bridge itself; in 1981, a Japanese tourist was killed by two diagonal stays when they snapped and fell onto the promenade.