In 2006 a group of workers conducting their regular inspection found a secret vault in the foundations of the Brooklyn Bridge, near the East river shoreline. The supplies, almost 45 years old at that time, consisting of medicines, water containers, blankets and almost 350,000 packets of crackers were safely sealed in airtight containers. Some containers were marked 1952 while the others were marked 1962, the year of the Cuban missile crisis. The huge cache of food and medicine suggest that the government had prepared safety bunker at the basement of the bridge in case there was an invasion or attack from the Soviets, a common practice done by the civil defense agencies during the cold war period. In 1959, a federal report concluded that two hydrogen bombs dropped near the Brooklyn Bridge would kill at least 6.1 million people.
Graham T. Allison, a former assistant secretary of defense acknowledged that the shelters would have been ineffective in the event of a nuclear attack but said that the construction would have comforted the people and made them believe that they were doing something, even if it didn’t have any effect. So the construction of such structures were not new as in 1950, the city’s Office of Civil Defense, was formed to prepare for a possible atomic attack. In 1951, during the Korean War, floodlights and barbed-wire barriers were set up on and around the city’s bridges, as part of an overall civil-defense strategy aimed at deterring sabotage.