Over the course of more than 150 years, the John A. Roebling Bridge has served as an illustrious landmark over the Ohio River. The bridge, which John Roebling, a civil engineer, was responsible for designing, first opened to traffic in January of 1867. Its span of 1,075 feet gave it the distinction of being the longest bridge in the world.
A number of innovative approaches to bridge construction were utilized in the construction of this engineering marvel. The two principal cables, each of which contains 5,180 separate wires, are possibly the most amazing attributes that it possesses. Wire from England was used to “spin” the cables into place after they were in place. In 1897, a second set of cables were installed so that the bridge could withstand higher loads.
The American Society of Civil Engineers has honored the bridge by bestowing upon it the title of National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in addition to its status as a National Historic Landmark (ASCE).
Although it now shares the riverside with several other bridges, the Roebling Suspension Bridge continues to function as an important route for both pedestrians and motorists. The daily commute to work, the ability to go to the riverside sporting venues, and the ability to get to the pubs and restaurants in Covington and Cincinnati are all reasons why many locals use it.
In January 1867, a suspension bridge connecting Covington in Kentucky with Cincinnati area in Ohio was opened to traffic for the first time. The length of its center span, which measured 1057 feet, was the biggest ever recorded. John A. Roebling had spent the most of the previous two years in New York as well as at his house in New Jersey working diligently on the planning for his next planned project, which was a bridge that would cross the East River and connect New York City and Brooklyn. Since the beginning of the year 1865, his son Washington had been serving as the project manager for the work at Covington.
In 1846, the Kentucky Legislature had presented the Covington-Cincinnati Bridge Company with the initial charter for the Ohio River bridge. This permission allowed the company to begin construction of the bridge. The Ohio legislature postponed approval mostly as a result of opposition originating from ferryboat owners and steamboat businesses. Concerns were also raised regarding the possibility that the bridge would make it easier for people of African descent to travel in the direction of freedom.
John Roebling was chosen to be the chief engineer for the Bridge Company, which would be responsible for the design and construction of the bridge. In September of 1856, construction got underway. The first thing that needed to be done was to get the foundations ready for the Ohio tower. In 1858, when both towers were far into the building process, work came to a standstill since additional finance was no longer available as a result of the broad economic depression that began in 1857.
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