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On May 24, 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge opened over the East River, connecting the busy New York City boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn. More than 1,000 vehicles and 150,000 people crossed the Brooklyn Bridge on opening day! Today, more than 124,000 vehicles cross the bridge every day. 
 
When it opened, the Brooklyn Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world. A suspension bridge is one where the roadway or walkway is suspended by huge cables hung from tall towers. The towers of the Brooklyn Bridge rise 84 meters (276 feet) above the East River—and as deep as 22 meters (78 feet) below it!
 
Many people were afraid the Brooklyn Bridge would not be strong enough to support the weight of all the vehicles and people that cross it. Circus leader P.T. Barnum helped calm their fears—he marched an entire troop of 21 circus elephants across the bridge!
Noun

layers of gases surrounding a planet or other celestial body.

caisson
Noun

water-tight chamber that opens at the bottom and contains enough pressurized air to conduct underwater work.

city
Noun

large settlement with a high population density.

decompression sickness
Noun

serious condition resulting from gases forming tiny bubbles in the bloodstream as a body adjusts to a major change in atmospheric pressure. Also known as DCS, divers disease, and the bends.

engineering
Noun

the art and science of building, maintaining, moving, and demolishing structures.

enormous
Adjective

very large.

Five Boroughs
Noun

nickname for New York City; the five boroughs are Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island.

foundation
Noun

structure on which a building is constructed.

granite
Noun

type of hard, igneous rock.

immigrant
Noun

person who moves to a new country or region.

pedestrian
noun, adjective

person who travels by walking.

steel
Noun

metal made of the elements iron and carbon.

suspend
Verb

to hang from an elevated structure.

suspension bridge
Noun

bridge with its deck hanging from cables strung between towers.

symbol
Noun

something used to represent something else.

traffic
Noun

movement of many things, often vehicles, in a specific area.

troop
Noun

group, often used for a military grouping.

vehicle
Noun

device used for transportation.

vehicular
Adjective

having to do with cars or other automobiles.

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