New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and State Senator Daniel Squadron today announced the expansion of access ramps to and from the Brooklyn Bridge and the FDR Drive, which will now accommodate two traffic lanes and simplify traffic patterns, easing notorious traffic bottlenecks for many of the 120,000 vehicles that cross the bridge daily as bridge rehabilitation continues. The first ramp, connecting the exit from the bridge’s Manhattan-bound lanes with the FDR Drive, has been expanded from one to two lanes, easing backups that often extend across the bridge. The second ramp, connecting the southbound FDR Drive with the approach to bridge’s Brooklyn-bound lanes, has also been expanded from one to two lanes, easing congestion and reducing the impact of cars that aggressively cut into the queue of cars at the entrance to the ramp. DOT is also nearing completion of work on a third ramp, connecting the bridge’s Brooklyn-bound lanes to Cadman Plaza West and Old Fulton Street in Brooklyn Heights, which will also be expanded to two travel lanes, expanding capacity and enhancing safety at this connection to local streets when work is completed later this year. The $508 million project to repaint the Brooklyn Bridge and rehabilitate its approach ramps started in 2010 and is expected to be completed next year. The Brooklyn Bridge is the final span in the city’s 788-bridge inventory with work underway to restore it to a state of good repair.
“What a difference a lane makes,” said Commissioner Sadik-Khan. “Since 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge has served as the city’s most critical link for pedestrians, cyclists, drivers and commerce of all kinds. As we continue this upgrade, we are making improvements at longtime bottlenecks to make the trip between the two boroughs faster, smoother and more convenient than ever for thousands of New Yorkers.”
“The Brooklyn Bridge is a lifeline for Brooklyn, Manhattan and all of New York. Now we’ve eased the bottleneck that has been an everyday reality for so many New Yorkers – causing inefficiency and frustration alike. DOT deserves great credit for its responsiveness and collaboration in making entering and exiting the bridge work better for everyone,” said Senator Squadron, who worked with DOT to expand the exit ramp from the bridge’s Manhattan-bound lanes onto the FDR Drive.
These efforts are the latest in DOT’s important effort to bring one of the city’s oldest and most critical pieces of infrastructure into a state of good repair. The $508 million project, funded in part with federal Stimulus contributions, represents part of the more than $6 billion in bridge projects by this Administration, including work to rehabilitate all East River Bridges, the St. George Staten Island Ferry Terminal ramps and other upgrades, which have brought the city’s 788-bridge-inventory into the best condition in generations. For information about the agency’s ongoing efforts to rehabilitate the Brooklyn Bridge, please visit www.nyc.gov/dot.