Press Releases

Press Release #18-062
Tuesday, December 11, 2018
Contact: Scott Gastel/Alana Morales (212) 839-4850

Department of Transportation Announces Brooklyn Bridge Rehabilitation has Received Major Federal Funding

As part of its BUILD grants, USDOT has awarded its maximum, $25 million, to New York City DOT for major rehab planned for approaches and towers of iconic bridge

Commissioner of Transportation Polly Trottenberg today announced that the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) had awarded $25 million to the New York City Department of Transportation to help fund repairs planned for the iconic Brooklyn Bridge. The competitive grant, under the BUILD program, will partially fund major rehabilitation of the approach arches that support the vehicle ramps on both the Manhattan and Brooklyn sides of the bridge, in addition to work on the bridge’s towers.

“We are grateful to Secretary Elaine Chao and USDOT for awarding NYC a $25 million BUILD grant for the major rehabilitation of the iconic Brooklyn Bridge,” said NYC DOT Commissioner Trottenberg. “At 135 years old, our world-renowned and beloved bridge needs a lot of care, including work on her approaches and her soaring, majestic towers. Our thanks also go to Mayor de Blasio for his leadership and to New York’s congressional champions for their support of this much-needed funding.”

“BUILD transportation grants are major investments in road, rail, transit, and port projects that serve as a down payment on this administration’s commitment to America’s infrastructure,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao

Federal BUILD (Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development) grants, awarded at a maximum amount of $25 million, are designed to supplement large local investment in major infrastructure projects. The Brooklyn Bridge rehabilitation project, planned to start by June 2019, will focus on the bridge’s approaches and towers, bringing them into a state of good repair. Specifically, the work will correct structural deficiencies in the masonry arches of the bridge’s approaches on both sides of the East River, and will also rehabilitate the tops of both the Manhattan and Brooklyn towers. This work on the bridge towers’ signature Gothic arches will be the first since their construction, strengthening both towers -- including against seismic activity. The project’s total budgeted cost is $337 million.

USDOT has announced its other BUILD transportation grant winners, totaling $1.5 billion.

"From the moment the Roeblings and the hundreds of immigrant laborers laid the first granite block of the mighty gothic towers of this bridge to connect the City of Brooklyn to the island of Manhattan, it has served as both a vital transportation artery and an architectural icon,” said U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer. “This significant federal grant for the restoration and rehabilitation of the masonry arches on the bridge’s Manhattan and Brooklyn approaches will allow travelers to continue to safely enjoy the design and majesty of the iconic Brooklyn Bridge for years to come.”

“The Brooklyn Bridge is one of New York City’s most iconic structures. It connects hundreds of thousands of people between Brooklyn and Manhattan every day, and this federal investment will help preserve its foundation to ensure that it can continue to serve New Yorkers for generations to come.” said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “I’m proud to support this DOT funding, and I will always fight on behalf of New Yorkers for the resources to make sure our infrastructure is safe and reliable.”

“I am excited that New York City has been awarded a $25 million BUILD grant for the rehabilitation of the Brooklyn Bridge. Restoring our iconic bridge is imperative to maintaining this critical piece of infrastructure for future generations. This grant will help ensure that, after 135 years of connecting both residents and visitors in Brooklyn and Manhattan, the Brooklyn Bridge will continue to serve our city for hundreds of years to come,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

“These repairs and upgrades are long overdue and I’m pleased to see the city secure these federal resources,” said Representative Nydia M. Velázquez. “Not only is the Brooklyn Bridge a national icon, it is a vital transportation artery and these projects will help ensure it remains safe for New Yorkers and visitors alike. For my part, I’ll continue working to ensure the federal government is allocating adequate assistance to repair our nation’s infrastructure, in New York City and throughout the nation.”

“The Brooklyn Bridge is an iconic fixture in the tapestry of America and a testament to the ingenuity of our great nation. However, as beautiful as she is, the bridge needs almost constant repair. I’m grateful to Mayor de Blasio and local and federal elected officials for working tirelessly to secure these much needed funds to restore the Brooklyn bridge to her original splendor and greatness,” said Representative Yvette Clarke.

“Our magnificent Brooklyn Bridge - built by our own Emily Roebling, a persistent women ahead of her time - soars, inspires and connects. All of that takes its toll and she needs a good bit of care at the moment. Many thanks to my colleagues in government for fighting for the Brooklyn Bridge and to US DOT for providing these much needed funds,” said Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon.

“The Brooklyn Bridge is a testament to the ingenuity of the American people,” said Council Member Margaret S. Chin. “I am thrilled that the bridge will receive the resources it needs to ensure it remains the vital and iconic travel artery it has been for 135 years. I thank Secretary Elaine Chao and the USDOT for awarding the $25 million grant which will make the rehabilitation of Brooklyn Bridge possible.”

“This large federal grant to restore one of our city’s most iconic and heavily traveled bridges is a significant accomplishment by the team at DOT and an encouraging sign about the potential for additional federal transportation dollars for New York,” said Kathryn Wylde, President of the Partnership for New York City

“Infrastructure is the backbone of America, and it is critical that we perform regular updates and repairs. This grant is welcome news and much needed, given the vital role the Brooklyn Bridge plays in terms of both transportation and tourism. I applaud Commissioner Trottenberg and New York’s senators and congressional delegation for their leadership and look forward to working with them to secure additional funding for infrastructure projects across the state,” said Carlo Scissura, CEO of New York Building Congress.

“The Landmarks Conservancy is thrilled that this important landmark and transportation artery is getting the care it deserves,” said Peg Breen, President of The New York Landmarks Conservancy. “We should know by now that continued maintenance is less expensive in the long run.”

About the Brooklyn Bridge
The Brooklyn Bridge, completed in 1883, is arguably the best known piece of transportation infrastructure in the United States – equally iconic for its role in popular culture, its special place in the history of civil engineering, and as an unprecedented example of public investment in transportation as a means of leveraging economic growth. Celebrated in film, song, and photography; it also has earned its status on the National Register of Historic Places, as a New York City Landmark, and as an ASCE Civil Engineering Historic Landmark. On an average day, the Bridge carries over 100,000 vehicles, as well as 4,000 cyclists and 10,000 pedestrians on its world-renowned promenade.