While conducting surveys for the bridge project, Roebling sustained a crush injury to his foot when a ferry pinned it against a piling. After amputation of his crushed toes, he developed a tetanus infection that left him incapacitated and soon resulted in his death in 1869. His 32-year-old son, Washington Roebling, was later designated to replace his father. "After a week I had become sufficiently composed to take a sober look at my own situation," Washington later wrote. "Here I was at the age of 32 suddenly put in charge of the most stupendous engineering structure of the age! The prop on which I had hitherto leaned had fallen -- henceforth I must rely on myself -- How much better when this happens early in life, before we realize what it all implies. "
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