Best Small Bridge (2010)

Carroll Street Bridge

Oh, that Brooklyn Bridge—always stealing the show. There's no arguing that it's indeed magnificent: Walking across it pretty much tops anything you can do in New York City. There are other spans, though, that deserve some of the love the Roeblings' masterwork likes to hog. Pity the littlest of these bridges, quietly conveying their traffic, while every German with a camera clogs the Brooklyn's walkway. But these more modest spans will not be forgotten! We've been finding one of them especially charming lately, as we stand on its wooden planking several feet above the mysterious green waters and invigorating stink of the Gowanus Canal. Though it's only 165 feet long, that doesn't stop the Carroll Street Bridge from claiming a big hunk of our civil-engineering heart. A retractile bridge originally built in 1888 (and rebuilt in 1988), the structure is darn quaint, almost rustic. Enjoy its industrial Gowanus "vistas," but beware! It bears an aging sign with a stern warning: "Any person driving over this bridge faster than a walk will be subject to a penalty of five dollars for each offence."


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