Biden, Bloomberg Inaugurate Brooklyn Bridge Renovation

BHB photo by C. Scales

BHB photo by C. Scales

Vice President Joe Biden made his second visit this year to the vicinity of the Brooklyn Bridge, this time to join Mayor Bloomberg and other federal and local officials in marking the start of the projected four year rehabilitation project for the historic bridge. Work on the bridge will include increasing the numbers of lanes on entry and exit ramps, including the exit ramp onto Cadman Plaza, to improve traffic flow, strengthening support structures, and repainting metal surfaces.

According to the Mayor’s Office press release, these will be the effects on traffic:

The majority of the work on the Brooklyn Bridge will be performed at night, requiring nighttime lane closures on the bridge’s Manhattan-bound lanes. However, for approximately 24 weekends, full closures of the span’s Manhattan-bound lanes will be required throughout the weekend beginning at 12:01 AM on Saturday night [sic; we presume this means Saturday morning] and re-opening at 5:00 AM on Monday. Brooklyn-bound traffic will be maintained during these nights and weekend closures. Traffic is expected to use the Manhattan and Williamsburg Bridges for alternate access to Manhattan, with some traffic moving to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. There will be no weekend closures during special events or during the holiday construction embargo. A schedule will be posted as the dates are determined.

At no time will the pedestrian and bike pathway be closed.

As for repainting the bridge, you may recall our suggestion that a color other than the present dull tan be considered. City officials have said they intend to repaint it in its original color, but, according to The Brooklyn Paper, nobody knows what that color was.

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  • ashton

    they can always get money for the brooklyn bridge. and so, they do. whether the repairs are legitimate or not.
    this may be the final nail in the coffin for my residency in this fraught boro where the quality of life of residents is always the very last concern

  • my2cents

    this fraught boro?
    I find life here distinctly un-fraught.

  • epc

    Personally I enjoy the sight of concrete falling off the bridge approach onto cars on the BQE. It’s entertaining and demonstrates that the bridge is vastly over–engineered.

  • EHinBH

    Night work???? Why??? What about all of us that live in the North Heights that will not be able to sleep?

  • yd

    12:01 AM Saturday night? What exactly is that? Is it supposed to read 12:01 AM Sunday morning?

  • Claude Scales

    yd: good question. I think it means Saturday morning.

  • Quinn Raymond

    Boondoogle? Not exactly.

    Everyone knows that if you don’t maintain things they become far more expensive to fix in the long run. This happened with the Manhattan Bridge in the 1980’s– it was closed for much longer and cost far more due to lack of regular maintanence.

    Or we could just sell the East River Bridges and allow a private company to toll them.


  • epc

    My notes have the closures as starting at midnight Friday nights (ie 12:01 Saturday a.m.) until Monday a.m.

  • Sticky

    Might I recommend the Ken Burns Brooklyn Bridge documentary. I is very interesting and for you Netflix members it is available on instant watch!

    Glad that the pedestrian walkway will not be closing.

  • nyob

    What I do not understand is why not have a crew of 4-7 workers continuously painting/maintaining the bridge.
    The way they have a crew in SF to paint the Golden Gate Bridge.
    How much can that be per year? $800,000 including health insurance and pension plans?
    Here we are spending 500mil to do this again in ten years.
    Any city officials out there with an explanation in this regard?
    Please advise.

  • Andrew Porter

    nyob, the Golden Gate Bridge is all-steel, constructed in the 1930s, 50 years after the BB, which is a combination of iron-wires (not steel!), masonry (on the towers) and other materials. It’s very complex, and when there was no maintenance, a Japanese tourist died when one of the support wires broke—because of corrosion from pigeon droppings.

    If you want to see what no maintenance does, check out the Admiralty Row at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.