View from Manhattan Bridge. The Brooklyn Bridge was opened to traffic already in 1883 as the first bridge between Manhattan and Brooklyn. Representing a combination of suspension and cable-stayed bridge, it is one of the oldest constructions of either type in the USA. Its central span of 486 m was much longer at that time than any other in the world. Until the mid of the 20th century, the Brooklyn Bridge carried not only cars, bicycles, and pedestrians, but also trains and street cars.