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Suspension Bridge Niagara Falls

by R.L.Kennedy

Engraved by D.L.Glover from the painting by Ferdinand Richardt, 1855.


The engineer of this remarkable accomplishment was Prussian born John A. Roebling, CE (1806-1869). Roebling did what had never been done before in spanning such a distance with this type of bridge construction.

Suspension Bridge Facts

Length of span between towers: 800 feet
Height of towers above the floor: 80 feet
Height of track above the river: 245 feet
Each of the 4 cables is comprised of 3,640 No.9 wires and is ten inches in diameter.
Ultimate strength of the cables: 12,000 tons
Permanent weight supported by cables: 1,000 tons
624 suspenders ultimate strength: 18,720 tons
64 overfloor stays ultimate strength: 1,920 tons
56 river stays ultimate strength: 1,680 tons

Suspension bridge was begun in September 1852 and opened on March 18,1855, making it one of the earliest pieces of construction in connection with the new mode of transportation, the railway. The bridge accommodated rail on the top portion and a road beneath. The rail portion was leased to the Great Western for use by their trains and those of the New York Central; and this continued for 42 years before being replaced by the Niagara Railway Steel Arch Bridge in 1897.

1860 scene.

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