The Great Bridge Short Essay - Answer Key

David McCullough
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1. Which problems stopped the initial production of "The Rainbow Bridge" in the early-1800s?

In the early-1800s, engineer Thomas Pope suggested a bridge between Manhattan and Brooklyn, but there weren't any architects that knew how to traverse the turbulent tidal strait. This stretch of water was considered to be one of the most difficult stretches of salt water to navigate anywhere in the world.

2. Why were both Manhattan and Brooklyn interested in the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge?

Manhattan was looking for a way to cut down, and perhaps even funnel out, crime and overcrowding in the city. On the other hand, Brooklyn was looking for a way to expand, and thought that they could be considered the best and biggest city in the world when Manhattan became too populated.

3. What change in transportation would the Brooklyn Bridge allow between the two cities?

The Brooklyn Bridge would allow for commuters in either burrough of the city to simply drive a car from one place to the other. Before the bridge was suspended, commuters were forced to take ferries across the river, which was deemed inconvenient, unreliable, and dangerous.

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