FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 2, 2010
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN MARK START OF BROOKLYN BRIDGE REHABILITATION PROJECT
$30 million of Stimulus Funding used on the Project
Rehabilitation Project Brings Investment in City Bridges to $5 Billion Since 2002
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today joined Vice President Joe Biden to mark the start of work on the Brooklyn Bridge rehabilitation project, a $508 million project – supported by $30 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds – that will bring the nationally and locally landmarked bridge into a state of good repair and improve traffic flow. The project starts the four-year process to replace bridge decks on the ramp and approach structures, expand the numbers of lanes on ramps and repaint of all the bridge’s steel components. The Mayor and Vice President were joined by U.S. Deputy Secretary of Transportation John D. Porcari, Congressman Jerrold Nadler, City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and Denise Richardson, Managing Director of the General Contractors Association of New York at a worksite adjacent to the Brooklyn Bridge in Lower Manhattan.
“Thanks to stimulus funding and a major investment by the City, we’re about to begin more than a half billion dollars worth of improvements to the City’s most famous bridge,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The work will bring the bridge into a state of good repair, improve traffic flow and create needed construction jobs. While too often we have seen a lack of investment in infrastructure, our Administration has made it top priority, and that’s why we’ve invested more than $5 billion in City bridges, including the rehab of all East River bridges, since 2002. It’s a pleasure to welcome the Vice President to the City today and I want to thank him, the President and our entire Congressional Delegation for delivering stimulus dollars to New York City.”
“The Brooklyn Bridge is an icon and a transportation lifeline for more than 120,000 commuters each day,” said Commissioner Sadik-Khan. “Investing in this vital piece of infrastructure is a down payment not just on its health, but also on the city’s economic future.”
“Federal Recovery Act funds have created an opportunity for thousands of jobs to be created in the heavy construction industry,” said Denise Richardson. “These federal dollars are making it possible to complete vital road and bridge projects, which without the administration’s support would not be affordable for City, County or State governments. These funds keep hard working Americans on the job, while at the same time making our roads and bridges safer for all taxpayers.”
The project will reconstruct the roadway surface over the bridge’s masonry arch blocks, install a waterproofing seal and a new drainage system on the bridge, and rehabilitate and seismically retrofit steel support structures, including the Franklin Square Arch. The vehicle entrance ramp from the southbound FDR Drive and the Brooklyn-side exit ramp to Cadman Plaza will both be expanded from one to two lanes to improve traffic flow and reduce backups and illegal lane-changing. Repainting the bridge’s steel will prevent corrosion of bridge components and will keep components from prematurely aging, avoiding more maintenance work in the future that could result in more frequent lane closures.
In addition to the ARRA funding, the project is being paid for using $286 million in City capital funds and $192 million in other federal funding.
The Brooklyn Bridge rehabilitation project is the latest in more than $5 billion in bridge investments since 2002, including the rehabilitation and repainting projects on all of the City-owned East River bridges.
The contractor on the project was given notice to proceed in January, and staging and other preparatory work is currently underway, with pilings for the expanded ramps already being installed. The entire project is expected to be completed in 2014. The last major rehabilitation of the main part of the Brooklyn Bridge was completed in 2000.
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 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.
The pedestrian and bicycle promenade will not be closed at any time during this project, although for short distances the walkway will be narrowed by one foot to accommodate painting operations. Detour routes will be posted, traffic agents will be stationed in the project area and some parking regulations may be temporarily altered.
For additional project information, bridge history and more information on the project’s temporary impacts, visit www.nyc.gov.
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