The Brooklyn Bridge is a hybrid cable-stayed/suspension bridge in New York City, spanning the East River between the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Opened on May 24, 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge was the first fixed crossing across the East River. It was also the longest suspension bridge in the world at the time, with a main span of 1,595.5 feet (486.3 m) and a deck height of 127 ft (38.7 m) above mean high water. The span was originally called the New York and Brooklyn Bridge and the East River Bridge but was officially renamed the Brooklyn Bridge in 1915.
Proposals for a bridge connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn were first made in the early 19th century. These plans eventually led to the construction of the current span designed by Washington Roebling. While construction started in 1870, numerous controversies and the novelty of the designed construction process caused the actual construction to be prolonged over thirteen years. Since opening, the Brooklyn Bridge has undergone several reconfigurations, having carried horse-drawn vehicles and elevated railway lines until 1950. To alleviate increasing traffic flows, numerous bridges and tunnels were built to the north and south. Following gradual deterioration, the Brooklyn Bridge has been renovated several times, with major renovations in the 1950s, 1980s, and 2010s.
The Brooklyn Bridge is the southernmost of four toll-free vehicular bridges connecting Manhattan Island and Long Island, with the Manhattan, Williamsburg, and Queensboro Bridges to the north. Only passenger vehicles and pedestrian and bicycle traffic are permitted. A major tourist attraction since its opening, the Brooklyn Bridge has become an icon of New York City. Over the years, the bridge has been used as the location of various stunts and performances, as well as several crimes and attacks. The Brooklyn Bridge was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964 and a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1972. The Brooklyn Bridge is also a New York City designated landmark.