DOT celebrates Brooklyn Bridge ‘glow up,’ iconic span will be lit for first time since 1983

The Brooklyn Bridge’s arches illuminated through NYC DOT’s new lighting system.
The Brooklyn Bridge’s arches illuminated through NYC DOT’s new lighting system.
Photo courtesy of NYC DOT

The Brooklyn Bridge will receive a serious “glow up” for the new year, the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) announced Thursday, with the addition of bright and energy efficient LED lighting in the evenings.

The iconic bridge’s 56 new lights were lit for the first time Thursday night.

“Everyone loves a good new year’s ‘glow up,’ and thanks to our new energy efficient LED lighting system, the iconic Brooklyn Bridge will shine bright for all New Yorkers to enjoy,” said DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. “One of NYC DOT’s most cherished responsibilities is maintaining ‘America’s Eiffel Tower,’ and these new lights will showcase its beauty for decades to come.”

The Brooklyn Bridge, which first opened on May 24, 1883, serves as an iconic addition to the New York City skyline. It was the longest suspension bridge at the time of its creation and was one of the first major city bridges built in part by a woman, Emily Warren Roebling, who was also the first person to cross the bridge.

Today, the bridge serves an estimated 120,000 vehicles, 30,000 pedestrians and 4,000 cyclists each day.

The new lighting system is part of DOT’s efforts to preserve the stunning historical landmark, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. In 2024, NYC DOT is slated to complete its $300 million, four-year restoration project on the bridge which has included the fastidious task of scrubbing the bridge clean of the grim and soot that has caked onto the landmark over the decades of its use.

The new lighting system cost about $2.4 million to implement and five months to complete installation and is expected to illuminate the bridge for the next 20 years. The last time that the bridge’s towers were lit was for the 100th anniversary celebration of the bridge’s completion in 1983.

“The Brooklyn Bridge is one of New York’s most cherished landmarks, recognized the world over as a symbol of our city,” said Landmarks Preservation Commission Chair Sarah Carroll. “The Commission is proud to support initiatives like the Brooklyn Bridge’s new energy efficient LED lighting system, which demonstrate New York City’s powerful commitment to sustainability, as well as the ability of our historic buildings and sites to evolve to meet modern needs and contribute to a greener city in the years to come.”

To learn more about the Brooklyn Bridge and DOT’s restoration project, visit the website here.