Rehabilitation of East River Bridges

Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges

The Department of Transportation has begun concurrent rehabilitation projects on the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. Both will result in lane closures and detours. Work on the Brooklyn Bridge began in early-2010 and is anticipated to be completed in four years. The current contract for the Manhattan Bridge, part of an $834 million reconstruction begun in 1982, is scheduled for completion in June 2013. The two projects will be coordinated to minimize the impact of the lane closures and detours.

Brooklyn Bridge

There are three parts to the renovation of the Brooklyn Bridge; reconstruction of the ramps and approaches on both sides of the river, replacement of the concrete roadway, and re-painting of the structure. The reconstruction of the ramps and approaches is designed to improve safety and reduce vehicular congestion. On the Brooklyn side, two lanes will be created for traffic exiting at Cadman Plaza. The approach roadways will also be physically rehabilitated, including the removal and replacement of the deck in small segments using techniques put in place to minimize noise.

Starting on the Manhattan side, DOT began to remove the exisiting lead-based paint, which will be replaced with an epoxy-zinc protective coating in a color ("Brooklyn Bridge Tan") approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Removal of the paint is being done in negative-pressure containment units, with dust collection, vacuum and recycle units employed to minimize environmental risk. There will be continuous air quality monitoring. The re-painting is estimated to take approximately two years.

Beginning in spring 2011, the Brooklyn Bridge will be closed for Manhattan-bound traffic overnight. During the closures, all Manhattan-bound traffic will be diverted to other East River crossings. Brooklyn-bound traffic will be maintained during these closures. There are no scheduled closures for pedestrians and cyclists. Manhattan-bound traffic will be closed:

Sunday-Thursday nights: 11:00 pm to 6:00 am the following day
Saturday mornings: 12:01 am to 7:00 am
Sunday mornings: 12:01 am to 9:00 am

Depending on the phase of the work, the full closure may not be in effect every day. On days without a full closure, a partial two-lane closure may be used instead. To sign up to directly receive status updates on closures , please e-mail

In addition, there will be a maximum of 24 full weekend (53-hour), Manhattan-bound roadway closures, beginning at 11:00 pm on Friday, through 5:00 am on Monday. There may also be daytime, single-lane closures to allow the contractor to prepare for overnight work.

There are official detour routes, where traffic agents will be stationed and parking regulations temporarily altered.
Download the brochure showing detour routes and closure dates and times (PDF)

In order to maintain Brooklyn-bound traffic when work is being done on the (south) lanes, traffic will be diverted to the north roadway. Signage and barriers will direct motorists to safely enter and exit the bridge.

Although there are no closures scheduled for the Brookyn Bridge promenade, the width of the pathway has been reduced. Cyclists must yield to pedestrians and may want to consider alternate routes across the East River. (See also information below regarding temporary closures of the Manhattan Bridge walkways.)

Read about the reconstruction of the Brooklyn Bridge in greater detail
Review the April 2010 presentation to the Brooklyn Service Cabinet (PPT)

Questions, comments and concerns may be directed to Sabrina Lau, the Brooklyn Bridge Community Liaison, at either or 347-647-0876. People are also welcome to contact instead, or in addition, Community Board 2.
Contact Community Board 2

The construction and repainting of the Brooklyn Bridge is partially funded by the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Manhattan Bridge

The major tasks included in the current contract of the Manhattan Bridge reconstruction are replacement of the wire ropes suspended from the main cables ("suspenders"), re-wrapping of the four main cables, and replacement and upgrading of the decorative necklace lighting. Substantial completion of the replacement of suspenders is anticipated for December 2012. Most work will occur on weekdays, between 7:00 am and 3:30 pm.

There will be significant impacts on all modes of travel during construction. One lane of the lower roadway will be closed at all times except during closures associated with the renovation of the Brooklyn Bridge (see above). In addition, one lane of the upper roadway will be closed during week-day off-peak hours. During rush hours, four lanes will be maintained in the direction of the predominant flow of traffic. The high-occupancy vehicle lane will remain available on the north roadway from 6:00 to 10:00 am, Monday through Friday.

There will also be service interruptions on the D subway line on two weekends. The two walkways on the bridge will be closed for seven months each while work is being done on nearby cables. Cyclists must yield to pedestrians.

Review the June 2010 presentation to Community Board 2 (PDF)

Questions, comments and concerns may be directed to Teresa Toro, the Manhattan Bridge Community Liaison, at either 347-325-1622 or People are also welcome to contact instead, or in addition, Community Board 2.
Contact Community Board 2