Friday, February 19, 2010

Why Are Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges Farther Apart in Manhattan?

Recently a young person asked us: "Why are the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges so close together in Brooklyn but so far apart in Manhattan?"

Looking at the overhead view of the two bridges using Google Maps, we were struck by the 'V' shape they form, with the wide part of the V in Manhattan. We're sure there's a perfectly reasonable explanation. Anyone?

Photo by MK Metz


epc said...

This is based on 99.99999% conjecture and zero research, but:

- the Brooklyn Bridge connects the two endpoints of the old Fulton Ferry. Due to the difference in elevations between Brooklyn and Manhattan, the Manhattan end point ended up right at City Hall.
- Manhattan Bridge conveniently almost lines up a connection between the then extant Canal Street and the created-for-the-bridge Flatbush Avenue Extension.

bj said...

Adding to the above, the Brooklyn Navy Yard area probably is not the best place to stick a bridge.

Anonymous said...

Think it had something to do with the trolley and train lines which ran over it when it was first built.