George Washington Roebling Suspension Bridge, ca. 1931. Photo courtesy New Jersey Office of Cultural and Environmental Services
John A. Roebling Company:
Suspension Bridges Are Created
German immigrant John A. Roebling invented wire
rope in 1840, which allowed construction of suspension bridges,
such as The George Washington Bridge. Roebling located his wire
rope-making factory in Trenton because of the city's proximity to
his iron source, the Cooper Iron Works. The company, Roebling and
Sons, continues to build many of the nation's finest suspension
bridges, using the same wire technology that Roebling
When the lower level of the George Washington
Suspension Bridge opened on August 29, 1962, it was the strongest
suspension bridge in existence, carrying fourteen lanes of roadway,
and using 34 miles of wire rope. The two-level bridge, designed by
the Port of New York Authority's chief engineer, Othmar Amman.,
crosses the Hudson River between upper Manhattan (West 178th
Street) and Fort Lee, New Jersey and forms part of Interstate
Highway I-95. Ground was broken for the original six-lane bridge in
October 1927. The Port Authority opened the bridge to traffic on
October 25, 1931. In 1946, two additional lanes were provided on
the upper level. In 1981, the George Washington Bridge was
designated a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by the
American Society of Civil Engineers.
Documentation includes a copy of a New Jersey
historic sites inventory of the George Washington Suspension Bridge
and seven historic photographs.
Originally submitted by: Christopher H. Smith, Representative (4th District).
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