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Brooklyn Bridge: Epic of the Age

Jeffrey Syken

In the post-Civil War era, science and technology were the new religion. Anything was possible including spanning the East River between the independent cities of Brooklyn and New York. The man chosen to undertake this heroic feat of engineering could be none other than John Augustus Roebling. A German immigrant to America, he was a brilliant linguist, artist, philosopher and engineer (a “Lesser Leonardo”). Where others had failed, John Roebling would succeed in perfecting the art and science of suspension bridge design with his intrinsic understanding of both the static and dynamic forces acting on a wire-cable suspension bridge.

This course will examine the background and events leading up to the design, construction and completion of the Brooklyn Bridge. It will examine the need for the bridge, main participants, politics, earlier New York City bridges and those designed/built previously by its principal designer (John A. Roebling). The main focus will be on the design engineering and construction aspects of the creation of what would be the longest suspension bridge in the world at the time of its completion in May, 1883.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of course materials.

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NY PE & PLS: You must choose courses that are technical in nature or related to matters of laws and ethics contributing to the health and welfare of the public. NY Board does not accept courses related to office management, risk management, leadership, marketing, accounting, financial planning, real estate, and basic CAD. Specific course topics that are on the borderline and are not acceptable by the NY Board have been noted under the course description on our website.