Williamsburg Bridge

bridge in New York City

The Williamsburg Bridge is a suspension bridge in New York City. It goes between the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn. The bridge opened on December 19, 1903. It is free to cross.

Williamsburg Bridge
Coordinates40°42′47″N 73°58′12″W / 40.713°N 73.97°W / 40.713; -73.97
Carries8 lanes of roadway, 2 tracks of the New York City Subway, pedestrians, and bicycles
CrossesEast River
LocaleManhattan and Brooklyn, in New York City
Maintained byNew York City Department of Transportation
DesignSuspension bridge and truss causeways
Total length7,308 feet (2,227 m)
Width118 feet (36 m)
Longest span1,600 feet (490 m)
Clearance above10 feet 6 inches (3.2 m) (inner roadways only)
Clearance below135 feet (41 m) at mean high water
ArchitectHenry Hornbostel
DesignerLeffert L. Buck
OpenedDecember 19, 1903; 120 years ago (December 19, 1903)
Daily traffic106,783 (2008)[1]


Video of the opening of the Williamsburg Bridge in 1903

The bridge was built starting in 1896. It cost $24,200,000.[2][3] Until 1924, it was the world's longest suspension bridge.

The bridge has been rebuilt since the 1980s. It was closed in 1988 after cracks were found on the bridge.[4] A bicycle lane was also built on the bridge.[5]

In 2003, the bridge turned 100 years old. On June 22, 2003, people held a party on the bridge to celebrate the bridge's age.[6] In 2009, the bridge was made a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.[7]

Train tracks


The bridge carries subway tracks of the BMT Nassau Street Line. In the early 20th century it also had trolley tracks.[8]


  1. "New York City Bridge Traffic Volumes 2008" (PDF). New York City Department of Transportation. March 2010. p. 63. Retrieved 2010-07-10.
  2. "Williamsburg Bridge". nycroads.com. Retrieved 2010-02-27.
  3. "New Bridge in a Glory of Fire; Wind-Up of Opening Ceremonies a Brilliant Scene". The New York Times. December 20, 1903. Retrieved 2010-02-27.
  4. Lyall, Sarah (April 13, 1988). "The Williamsburg Bridge Is Shut For 2 Weeks as Cracks Are Found". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-02-27.
  5. "Williamsburg Bridge, New York, NY". Bikes Belong. Archived from the original on 18 June 2013. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
  6. Mitchell, Ellen (June 19, 2003). "A 100-Year Span Gets Its Big Moment". Newsday.
  7. "Williamsburg Bridge". ASCE Metropolitan Section. Archived from the original on 2012-01-04. Retrieved 2010-02-07.
  8. Brennan, Joseph. "Williamsburg Bridge Railway Terminal". Retrieved 2010-02-27.

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