Williamsburg Bridge

About the Bridge

The Williamsburg Bridge is one of the major crossings of the East River, connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn and serving some of the busiest arteries in New York City. As of 2018, an average of over 104,700 vehicles, 6,700 cyclists and 5,500 pedestrians travel over the Williamsburg Bridge each day.

The Williamsburg Bridge expands over the East River

Bridge Facts

  • Total length: 7,308 feet
  • Main span: 1,600 feet
  • Clearance at center: 135 feet
  • Height of towers: 310 feet
  • Number of cables: 4 cables
  • Diameter of each cable: 18 inches
  • Weight of cables: 4,344 tons
  • Total length of wires: 17,500 miles


When it opened in 1903, the Williamsburg Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world, carrying rail, trolley, carriages and pedestrians. The Williamsburg Bridge was one of the last major bridges designed for the horse and carriage. By the 1920s, when the automobile became a major mode of transportation, the trolley tracks were replaced with roadways.

The massive stiffening trusses were designed not only to withstand high winds, but also to support rail traffic on the deck. Currently, the bridge carries four two-lane vehicular roadways, a south roadway (inner and outer) and north roadway (inner and outer), with two rapid transit tracks (J, M, and Z subway lines) sandwiched in between. A walkway and a bikeway also run across the bridge.

Current Project

News and Notices

Follow Williamsburg Bridge on Facebook for the most recent construction news and notices, posted by NYC DOT.

Previous Contracts

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

4Contract 4 (1991-1994): Cable rehabilitation, including oiling and wrapping of main cables and replacement of all suspenders, $90M

5Contract 5 (1994-1997): Reconstruction of the South Roadways, including a new orthotropic bridge deck and footwalk on the south side of the main bridge, $295M

6Contract 6 (1997-2000): Complete replacement of the transit approaches, and rehabilitation of the transit structure on the main bridge, $175M

7Contract 7 (1999-2002): Reconstruction of the North Roadways, including a new orthotropic bridge deck and footwalk on the north side of the main, $250M

8Contract 8 (2003-2012): Bridge Tower Rehabilitation, Replace main tower saddle stops, Install seismic shear keys at intermediate towers, Tower access improvements, Replace fenders/mooring facilities, Integrate and complete ITS, Replace approach sign gantries and Bridge Tower Painting, $290M