I have always enjoyed sites and perspectives that others see. An even greater thrill for me is to find an object or view that others do not often find. A recent trip to the DUMBO area of Brooklyn gave me that very opportunity. As an admirer of the architecture of interesting bridges, I find that New York has some of the best over the East River. While the Brooklyn Bridge may perhaps be the most famous here, there are others that are critical in the daily lives of locals and the all-important tourists. Each has their own story and each has their own equally unique features. Following my constant quest to find something new, I fixated on the youngest of the bridges – the Manhattan Bridge.
The Manhattan Bridge is a graceful suspension bridge that spans the East River, connecting lower Manhattan to Brooklyn. Despite her middle position visually, she is the last one to have been built. Started in 1901, she spans 6,855’ from end to end and rises 336’ above the waters below. She was opened on December 31, 1909, but was not actually completed until 1912. During those years, 7 lanes of roadway, 4 railroad tracks as well as lanes for pedestrians and bicycles were built. Something that was very interesting to me is that when she was built, all the rail lines were not attached to steel on the land. The connections did not come until years later. I was impressed at the forward thinking in this initial design. At the same time, however, there has been a number of high dollar renovations to compensate for the substantially larger and heavier trains that now use her rails. At one point, the weight of a passing train would literally dip the bridge deck 3’ lower than the opposite side. “A” for initial design effort as well as finding solutions to help her adapt to our current demands.
I made this image to include my love of water as well as the interest and size of the bridge herself. The trees on the left, coupled with the boulders below gave a nice framing effect. The setting sun on camera right added interest to the sky as well as helped define the layers in the clouds above. Details in the bridge frame work and color make it the most interesting of the 3 bridges to me. I processed this image with a painterly approach to give a more surreal feel.
All in all, she not a bad looking lady, especially at her young age of 112!
3 Frame HDR, Processed in Photomatix Pro, LR and Topaz Clarity