The Manhattan Bridge is a suspension bridge that crosses the East River in New York City, connecting Lower Manhattan at Canal Street with Downtown Brooklyn at the Flatbush Avenue Extension. The main span is 1,470 ft (448 m) long, with the suspension cables being 3,224 ft (983 m) long. The bridge’s total length is 6,855 ft (2,089 m). It is one of four toll-free vehicular bridges connecting Manhattan Island to Long Island; the nearby Brooklyn Bridge is just slightly further downtown, while the Queensboro and Williamsburg Bridges are to the north.
The bridge was designed by Leon Moisseiff, built by The Phoenix Bridge Company, and opened to traffic on December 31, 1909. An innovative design, it was the first suspension bridge to employ Josef Melan’s deflection theory for deck stiffening, resulting in the first use of a lightly-webbed weight-saving Warren truss for its construction. Considered the forerunner of modern suspension bridges, it served as the model for many of the record-breaking spans built in the first half of the twentieth century.