Volume 22, Number 50 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | April 23 - 29, 2010
$300 million Brooklyn Bridge project to begin
Noisy construction on the Brooklyn Bridge could begin as soon as next month, as the city Dept. of Transportation launches a four-year, $300 million overhaul of the bridge.
The 1883 landmark needs a new coat of paint, and the ramps, approaches and decking also need to be repaired, said Joannene Kidder, with D.O.T.’s Division of Bridges.
One of the first steps, starting in late May or early June, is to remove the lead paint that is flaking off the bridge’s beams, Kidder said. Through an abrasive blasting process, the contractor will shoot miniscule lead BB’s at the bridge and its ramps one section at a time. The peeling paint will adhere to the lead balls and will be vacuumed up into a container sitting on a barge in the East River.
That work will take place between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. and may be loud, Kidder said at last week’s Community Board 1 Seaport/Civic Center Committee meeting.
Gary Fagin, whose apartment is 50 feet from one of the Brooklyn Bridge ramps, was worried about the impact of the work on his family, including his 7-year-old daughter. Kidder said the contractor will monitor both the noise and air quality and will abide by city codes.
Once the old paint is removed, the D.O.T. will apply a new coat of “Queensborough Tan,” a color approved by the city Landmarks Preservation Commission, Kidder said. Most of the painting will occur overnight, closing the bridge to Manhattan-bound traffic.
But starting in the late summer or early fall, the D.O.T. will also do up to 24 weekend closures on the Manhattan-bound side of the bridge. The D.O.T. estimates that 82 percent of the traffic from Brooklyn will use the Manhattan Bridge instead, and dozens of traffic agents will help motorists find alternate routes, Kidder said.
In addition to repainting the bridge, the D.O.T. is also retrofitting the Franklin Square arch block and widening the ramp from the southbound FDR Dr. onto the Brooklyn Bridge.
Residents with questions or concerns about the construction can contact Sabrina Lau, the Brooklyn Bridge community liaison, at 347-647-0876 or email@example.com.
— Julie Shapiro