Brooklyn Bridge

About the Bridge

The iconic Brooklyn Bridge connects Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn Heights. Known for its stone arches, the Brooklyn Bridge supports six lanes of vehicles (no trucks) and a shared pedestrian and bicycle path. As of 2018, an average of over 116,000 vehicles, 30,000 pedestrians and 3,000 cyclists travel over the Brooklyn Bridge each day.

The Brooklyn Bridge expands over the East River with the Lower Manhattan skyline in the background.

Bridge Facts

  • Total length of bridge and approaches: 6,016 feet
  • Main span: 1,595.5 feet
  • Clearance at center: 135 feet

History

The Brooklyn Bridge was designed by John A. Roebling. Construction began in 1869 and was completed in 1883. At the time, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world. The Brooklyn Bridge connects the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn by spanning the East River.

Because of the elevation of the span above the East River and the relatively low-lying shores, the rest of the bridge, sloping down to ground level, extends quite far inland on both sides of the river.

Between 1944 and 1954, a comprehensive reconstruction took place. The inner and outer trusses were strengthened, new horizontal stays were installed between the four main cables, the railroad and trolley tracks were removed, the roadways were widened from two lanes to three lanes, and new approach ramps were constructed. Additional approach ramps to the FDR Drive were opened to traffic in 1969.

The Brooklyn Bridge was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964 and a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1972. The bridge and multiple Manhattan and Brooklyn lots comprising the approaches were designated as NYC Landmarks in 1967. In recent decades, the structure has been refurbished to handle the traffic demands during its second century.

Current Projects

News and Notices

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Rehabilitation of Towers and Approach Arches

During Contract 7, NYC DOT will improve the load carrying capacity of the arch blocks and strengthen the masonry towers while focusing on repairs of the historic brick and granite components. The contract began in September 2019 and will continue until 2023.

Project Scope:

  • Strengthen masonry towers 
  • Rehabilitate arch blocks and foundations
  • Replace brick infill walls
  • Rehabilitate basement floors
  • Repoint and reset granite stones
  • Improve lighting at the towers

Impacts:

  • Occasional lane closures will take place to inspect and repair bridge componentsli>
  • The bridge promenade will be open at all times, although portions of the walkway may be narrowed at times
  • Limited vehicular lane and sidewalk closures

Construction Project Contact:

Please contact Anita Navalurkar, the Brooklyn Bridge Community Liaison, with questions about the Brooklyn Bridge Rehabilitation project at 347-647-0876 or brooklynbridgeoutreach@gmail.com.

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Previous Contracts

Picture and diagram of the Brooklyn Bridge with labels to highlight where on the bridge work has been done under previous contracts.

5DContract 5D (1998-2000): Brooklyn Bridge Emergency Re-Decking Contract, $37M

5Contract 5 (2007-2009): Brooklyn Bridge Travelers Replacement, $45M

6Contract 6 (2010-2017): Rehabilitation of Approaches and Ramp Super Structure, Painting of the Whole Bridge, $650M

6AContract 6A (2017-2019): Rehabilitation of Stone Masonry Walls at Bridge Approaches and Ramps, Sandy Related, $18M

Upcoming Contracts

The Brooklyn Bridge is continuously maintained in a State of Good Repair through capital projects and routine, in-house repairs to improve its components as they withstand weather conditions and vehicular traffic.

Mayor Bill De Blasio's "Bridges for the People" initiative to transform vehicular lanes into bicycles lanes is currently under evaluation by NYC DOT. Updates will be provided as these and other projects are developed.