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The fix is in: Bklyn Bridge repairs to cost much more

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Major repairs to the crumbling Brooklyn Bridge, which are scheduled to begin this summer and close parts of the span for three years, will now cost up to $200 million more than originally anticipated.

Rehabbing the degrading bridge will cost up to $500 million, according to the Department of Transportation — a hike from the $300 million that the agency said it would need to fix approaches, ramps and anchorages, repaint the bridge and replace barriers and railings, the New York Post reported on Sunday.

On the plus side, the agency now says the work will take three years instead of four.

The work became a priority after state inspectors in 2006 reported its condition was “poor.” The 126-year-old suspension span was the only city bridge to receive that grade, despite a the wave of inspections that followed the 2007 collapse of a highway bridge in Minnesota.

Starting in 2010, John Roebling’s masterpiece will be closed to Manhattan-bound traffic for 24 weekends scattered through 2013, when the overhaul is scheduled to finish. A lane in both directions will also be closed during some off-peak hours on weekdays.

The need to repair the Brooklyn Bridge has pitted the Department of Transportation against the state Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation over a piece of land beneath the Gothic tower. The park builders planned to convert the site into a grand public plaza, possibly with a skating rink and green market, by the end of this year.

But the city has not ceded control of the plot, which housed the historic Purchase Building, because it says the terrain is needed for the repair work on the bridge itself.

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Reader Feedback

Edward F. Ulon from Brooklyn says:
I've been driving for over 45 years and rarely in that 45 years has this bridge been completely open to traffic in both directions. If you had a construction job working on the bridge, you could have retired and the work will still be uncompleted. Now new construction is scheduled for next year and what are motorist supposed to do, jump up and down because it will be done in three years instead of four. It's a pity that we seem to be spending good money into bad projects. I would like to know how much money over the last 45 years has been dumped into what I see as wasteful projects. The City could have built a new bridge and connected it to the roadways and then saved the Brooklyn Bridge as a monument. Now there is talk of putting a toll of $2.00 on the bridge to sit it traffic while the construction work is being done, wake up you politician in Albany or better yet, live in the city and see first hand what motorist have been suffering with for over 45 years. What should be done is build a new bridge and put people back to work under the stimulus plan. That's how things get better. Constantly repairing the bridge is like putting money in your Edsel.
March 2, 2009, 3:01 pm
Robert from Park Slope says:
Didn't they do a major re-haul of the Brooklyn Bridge in the mid-1990s? I thought they said then it would be 30 years before the bridge needed anymore serious work. Now it's not even 20 years before the bridge needs yet another major make-over.
March 2, 2009, 3:10 pm
Pacholo from Red Hook says:
Eddie you never drove the car. Jackie was your driver. What ever happen to her?
March 2, 2009, 11:14 pm
j. mork from p hts says:
Edward -- good point -- the $2 toll won't be sufficient to cut down bridge congestion much.

Call your reps and ask them to price the bridge tolls at a reasonable level to a) keep the transit fare where it is (which reduces traffic on the bridge) and b) encourage those who don't really need to drive to go at a different time or use a more space-efficient mode of transport.
March 3, 2009, 10:22 am
Boris from Bay Ridge says:
I wonder where the $500 million is coming from. My guess is, not much of it is from gas taxes or toll revenue; the rest of us non-car-owners (a majority in New York City) have to pony up to support the driving habits of people like Edward.

I agree that $2 is too low. The bridge should be handed over to the MTA, which should do the repairs and set tolls at such a level as to pay for the repairs, in addition to funding transit.

As for stretching the construction over three years, this is done only to enrich the construction companies by making them do the same work over and over. Think about it- 24 weekends means the crews will have to set up and clean up 24 times instead of doing all the work in one stretch. I wish they could just close down the entire bridge, do the work in 6 months or so with multiple crews working 24/7, and then reopen it. Much less pain in the long run.
March 3, 2009, 11:09 am
larry from rolling hills says:
I would like to buy the Bridge for 2 billion
March 10, 2014, 5:33 am
larry from rolling hills says:
I would like to buy the Brooklyn Bridge for 2 billion dollars$
March 10, 2014, 5:36 am
Springer from NewYork says:
I would like to buy it
Aug. 9, 2014, 2:37 pm

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