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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release #06-54

Contact: Kay Sarlin (212) 442-7033
Ted Timbers

DOT Announces Year-Long Closure of the Lower Roadway on the Manhattan Bridge

The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) today announced that beginning Sunday, October 15th, the lower roadway of the Manhattan Bridge will be closed for the next year. During these twelve months all three lanes of the lower roadway will undergo a complete rehabilitation. While the upper level of the Manhattan Bridge will remain open, DOT recommends that motorists use an alternate route to cross the East River during this closure.

As the City approaches the centennial celebration of the opening of the Manhattan Bridge (1909-2009), the refurbishment of the lower roadway will be the final roadway on the bridge to be replaced. During the rehabilitation there will be no access to the lower roadway from either end of the bridge. All traffic will be directed to the upper roadways where two lanes will be maintained in both directions at all times. Pedestrians and bicyclists will share access along the Manhattan Bridge's South walkway since the North bikeway will be closed. New York City Transit service on the bridge will not be affected. To help distribute traffic amongst the other East River crossings, the North Outer Roadway on the Williamsburg Bridge will be open to truck traffic.

To speed completion of the rehabilitation project DOT has included a financial incentive /disincentive clause in the contract that specifies a certain milestone date for the completion of work and the reopening of the travel lanes. If the contractor, Koch Skanska USA, completes the work early and can reopen the travel lanes before the milestone date, then an incentive is awarded; if the contractor fails to meet the milestone date, then a disincentive is imposed for each day late.

Local communities in both Brooklyn and Manhattan will receive regular project updates and advance notification of any additional closures. DOT will also implement a number of traffic mitigation measures in order to keep delays to a minimum. Variable Message Signs will be placed at key spots around the City to provide motorists with updates on existing traffic conditions; an extra lane will be created on northbound Chrystie Street and the Bowery for motorists entering Manhattan during the morning rush; the South inner roadway of the Williamsburg Bridge will be reversed inbound (except for buses and trucks) to create two additional lanes for traffic to Manhattan during the morning rush; NYPD traffic agents will be stationed on the Bowery and on Chrystie Street from Canal to Delancey Streets and on Delancey Street from the Willamsburg Bridge to Allen Street; in Brooklyn NYPD traffic agents will be stationed on Flatbush Avenue and at the approaches to the Manhattan Bridge and 24-hour tow truck service will be on-call to ensure the quick removal of disabled vehicles.

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