13 September 2007

Did you know the Manhattan Bridge has been under construction for the past 25 years?

The Manhattan Bridge opened in 1909, some eight years after construction began.

Fifty years later city officials had actually considered demolishing it because of structural deficiencies. But then, in the 1980's, the city embarked on an overhaul which would end up costing us $829M.

So now repairs on the Manhattan Bridge are finally finished -- 25 years after they began. You may not have noticed but only 4 lanes have been open regularly on the bridge's lower deck since current repairs began in 1982. If you ride the train over the bridge, you're probably quite used to seeing construction workers and equipment in the middle... for the last 25 YEARS! They're presence has become as timeless as the baby blue bolts on the bridge itself.

So now two more lanes will be opened permanently, adding about 50% more capacity for traffic. The bridge's seventh lane will reopen in January, making it complete along with the four subway tracks, and two walking and bicycling paths.

Personally I prefer the matchstick Brooklyn Bridge, thats my bridge of choice. It's the aristocrat's bridge, while the Manhattan Bridge is the peoples bridge :)

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