Brooklyn Bridge renovations to start this fall

BY ALEJANDRA O’CONNELL-DOMENECH | Renovation work on the Brooklyn Bridge is scheduled to begin this fall, according to the Department of Transportation.

The agency recently awarded a $328,300,000 contract to New York City-based construction companies Navillus and MLJ contracting to repoint the bridge’s two towers and replace walls and facades along both the Manhattan and Brooklyn approaches, which have become dilapidated over the last 125 years, as well as marred by graffiti. Navillus confirmed that work would begin in September.

As part of the facade renovations, the supportive archways along the Brooklyn Bridge’s Manhattan approach will be repointed, eroded red bricks will be replaced and new operable stainless-steel doors and decorative angled slats resembling windows will be installed. Behind the brick facades, new reinforced concrete walls will be constructed. Any original remaining railings, stairs, signage and other related infrastructure too deteriorated to repair will be removed.

A rendering of repairs planned along the Brooklyn Bridge’s Manhattan approach. (Courtesy NYC Dept. of Transportation)

The majority of the work planned on the bridge’s Brooklyn side is repointing on archways. The span’s towers will also be repointed, plus receive reinforcing bars to secure granite blocks within its Gothic arches.

A rendering of where the Brooklyn Bridge towers will be repointed. (Courtesy NYC Dept. of Transportation)

A rendering of the section of the Brooklyn Bridge towers where the Department of Transportation will install reinforcing bars. (Courtesy N.Y.C. Dept. of Transportation).

D.O.T. plans on improving drainage and restoring adjacent sidewalks along the bridge approaches, as well. The entire restoration process will be photographically documented.

The project’s focus is on “meeting today’s codes and standards with preservation strategies in retaining and extending the life of the bridge’s iconic appearance,” a D.O.T. spokesperson stated.

In July, the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission approved the agency’s restoration plan for the bridge, which was completed in 1883 and landmarked in 1967.

The bridge work is expected to continue through 2023, with no closures to the bridge’s walkway anticipated, while travel lane closures will be limited, according to D.O.T. 

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