Infrastructure

Manhattan Bridge

Manhattan Bridge Reconstruction

The $920 million Manhattan Bridge Reconstruction Program began in 1982. Rehabilitation accomplished on the bridge includes: reconstruction of the north and south upper roadways; reconstruction of the north and south subway tracks; installation of a truss stiffening system (to reduce twisting); restoration of Manhattan Plaza, including the landmarked Arch and Colonnade; reconstruction of the south walkway; installation of a new north bikeway; and replacement of the lower roadway.

Main Cable Rewrapping and Suspender Rope Replacement

The Manhattan Bridge's rehabilitation program continues under Contract No. 14, which began in January, 2010. Scheduled for completion in November 2013, the contract includes the total replacement of all 628 bridge suspenders, main cable re-wrapping, replacement and upgrade of the necklace lighting, and installation of maintenance platforms at the bridge towers.

Suspenders are the vertical cables that connect the bridge deck to the main cables. The main cables connect the tower tops and anchorages and have a classic curving shape of suspension bridges.

Most work will occur Mondays through Fridays between 7 am and 3:30 pm. There will be minimal weekend or night work. For more information about the project, please contact Anita Navalurkaro, the community liaison for the project, at manhattanbridgeoutreach@gmail.com or by calling 646-942-3141. Download a brochure on the project (pdf) Download the brochure in Spanish (pdf) Download the brochure in Chinese (Traditional) (pdf) Download the brochure in Chinese (Simplified) (pdf)

Coordination with Brooklyn Bridge Construction

The Brooklyn Bridge will be under rehabilitation at the same time as Manhattan Bridge Contract No. 14. Work is being carefully coordinated between projects, which have different construction schedules and different project completion dates. DOT anticipates heavy usage of the Manhattan Bridge on those weekends when Brooklyn Bridge inbound traffic is detoured. At those times, all Manhattan Bridge inbound traffic travel lanes will be open.

Traffic Changes

During the course of the work, it will be necessary to close lanes to traffic. One lane on the lower roadway will be closed 24/7 during this project, except when the Brooklyn Bridge is closed to inbound traffic on weekends. Lanes will be closed on the upper roadway lane closures during off-peak hours. However, at least four traffic lanes will be open at all times, with lane direction reversals on the lower roadway to maximize traffic flow and accommodate morning and evening rush hours on weekdays.An HOV lane will be maintained on the north upper roadway from 6 am to 10 am, Monday through Friday.

Truck Traffic

Trucks will always have access to the Manhattan Bridge; some lane restrictions may be necessary. Electronic signage will direct truck and other traffic whenever detours are necessary.

Pedestrians and Cyclists

During Contract No. 14, pedestrians and cyclists will enjoy uninterrupted bridge access.

Subway Riders

DOT anticipates up to two weekend service disruptions on the D line as a result of Manhattan Bridge cable rehabilitation and suspender work. To sign up for detour and other updates, please email manhattanbridgeoutreach@gmail.com. Check MTA website for for service advisories.

Frequently Asked Questions

About the Project

What work will be conducted in Contract No. 14?

All of the Manhattan Bridge's 628 suspenders will be replaced, the cables will be re-wrapped, necklace lighting will be replaced and upgraded and maintenance platforms will be built at the towers.

How is this project funded?

This $149 million dollar project is funded by Federal Highway Administration, New York State, and New York City funds.

Will this project be coordinated with other nearby construction projects?

Yes. DOT is closely coordinating the construction schedules of this project, Brooklyn Bridge construction and local street projects to ensure that traffic impacts are minimized. During Brooklyn Bridge closures, the Manhattan Bridge will be open.

Construction

What is the duration of the project?

The project will last three years, from early 2010 until November 2013.

Will there be noise?

DOT does not anticipate excessive noise as part of this project. All work will be done in accordance with the NYC Noise Code.

What areas will be used for closed for construction?

On the Manhattan side of the bridge, an existing platform on the bridge will be used. There will be no street-level staging area on the Manhattan side of the bridge. In Brooklyn, the staging area will be at Plymouth and Adams Streets. This staging area is necessary for construction equipment and materials storage.

When will this work be performed?

Most work will occur Monday through Friday between 7 am and 3:30 pm. There will be minimal weekend or night work. During the daytime, lane closures could occur in the Manhattan-bound or Brooklyn-bound direction. An HOV lane will be maintained during morning rush hours on the north upper roadway, Monday through Friday.

Effects on Traffic

How will lane closures affect week-day rush hour traffic?

During rush hours, all lanes will remain open, except for one lane on the lower roadway. The lower roadway will run Manhattan- or Brooklyn-bound to accommodate morning and evening rush hours. An HOV lane will be maintained on the North upper roadway during morning rush hours (6:00 am to 10:00 am). See more details on traffic changed

How will construction affect pedestrians and bicyclists using the Manhattan Bridge?

Pedestrians and bicyclists will always be able to cross the Manhattan Bridge during Contract No. 14.

Learning More

Where can I get more information or voice a concern?

Please contact Anita Navalurkar, the community liaison for Manhattan Bridge Cable Rehabilitation/Contract No. 14, at manhattanbridgeoutreach@gmail.com or by calling 646-942-3141.

Will information be available in other languages?

Yes. See translated information.

Manhattan Bridge History

The Manhattan Bridge carries automobile, truck, subway, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic over the East River. The Bridge runs between Flatbush Avenue Extension in Downtown Brooklyn and Canal Street in Chinatown, Manhattan.

The Bridge supports seven lanes of vehicular traffic, four transit train lines, a pedestrian walkway and a Class 1 bikeway. Every weekday, the Bridge carries over 450,000 commuters, including 106,700 commuters in 85,400 vehicles, 4,000 bicyclists and 340,900 mass transit riders in 950 subway trains. Over 75% of all Manhattan Bridge crossings are by public transit.

The youngest of the three DOT East River suspension bridges, construction began on October 1, 1901. The bridge opened to traffic on December 31, 1909 and completed in 1910. The Bridge's total length is 5,780 feet from abutment to abutment at the lower level; and 6,090 feet on the upper roadways from portal to portal. Its main span length is 1,470 feet long and each of its four cables is 3,224 feet long. The Bridge was designed by Leon Moisseiff (1872-1943), who also assisted in designing the George Washington and Robert F. Kennedy Bridges. The Manhattan entrance to the bridge is distinguished by an elaborate stone portal and vast plaza, designed by the architectural team of Carrère and Hastings, who also designed the main branch of the New York Public Library.

The Bridge was the first to be built based on deflection theory, a radical engineering theory at the time. This theory held that the inherent structure of suspension bridges makes them stronger than was previously thought. Consequently, the Bridge does not have massive stiffening trusses like those used on the Williamsburg Bridge.

In 2009, the Bridge's centennial year, the American Society of Civil Engineers named it a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. A bronze plaque commemorating this honor hangs on the south side path on the Brooklyn side of the bridge near the intersection of Jay Street and Sands Street.