Unveiling the Most Fascinating Facts About the Manhattan Bridge

While the Brooklyn Bridge is more well-known, the Manhattan Bridge has a fascinating history. This bridge links two important areas of NYC: Manhattan and Brooklyn, spanning the East River.

Peeling back the layers of history reveals the astonishing secrets and facts that this bridge has held for decades. One notable aspect of its construction was the political turmoil that resulted in structural modifications to the designs.

The Manhattan Bridge symbolizes the architectural style of 20th-century Manhattan. It was finished with Leon Moisseiff overseeing the project in 1909. The bridge had a modern construction style, different from others of its time.

Political Shifts Impact Design Trends

One setback during the construction of the bridge was caused by political ambitions that led to alterations in the designs. The New York City Art Commission held significant influence during that time period and turned down numerous stunning designs.

Architectural Embellishments

Even though many of the architectural details have been updated, a keen observer may still notice more embellishments on this bridge than on any other in NYC. You can still see the satellite-like dishes on towers. Some of the lights that were set up to illuminate the skyline in the early days are still present.

Statues at the Entrance

At the opposite end of Brooklyn, the Manhattan Bridge featured a female statue symbolizing both Brooklyn and Manhattan. It was sculpted by architect Daniel Chester. In 1960, the statues were relocated to the Brooklyn Art Museum to accommodate visitors.

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Issue with the Design Structure

When you go to the bridge, you might have observed a slight movement in the structure. One of the errors occurred in the engineering process during construction. The fault can be attributed to the later additions of seven lanes from outside and four subway tracks. When trains pass each other side by side, one dips four feet to the south side and the other four feet to the north. The total deflection is eight feet.

However, the issue worsened because of the higher traffic in the following days, catching us off guard. In 1980, a substantial sum of 920 million dollars was allocated to address the problem with the bridge structure. After extensive work, the bridge was finally opened to the public in the 2000s. It is consistently monitored and repaired, but you might still notice some movement.

The original color was gray

The iconic blue appearance is beloved by many. At first, the bridge appeared grey. The bridge was painted blue as a tribute to Dutch tiles, a cultural heritage that can still be observed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Additionally, blue is the designated color of the borough and could be painted blue to symbolize Manhattan.

Manhattan Bridge Location

This is the third bridge in a series that includes the Brooklyn and Williamsburg Bridge, built across the East River in NYC. This bridge connects Lower Manhattan with Downtown Brooklyn. The place can be found at Canal Street in Lower Manhattan and connects to Brooklyn at Flatbush Avenue Extension.

Different Name

When the decision was made to construct a new bridge over the East River, it became the third project in the series and was named Bridge Number 3. In 1902, the board of members renamed it Manhattan Bridge. The New York Times also expressed their disapproval of the new name, suggesting that all bridges over the East River could be named Manhattan Bridge and should have a more meaningful name.

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