Just Got A Lot Harder To Sell

August 3rd, 2007at 11:11am Posted by Eli

This can’t be good…

The Brooklyn Bridge is one of 166 city bridges labeled “structurally deficient,” putting it in the same category as the one that collapsed into the Mississippi River.

In fact, under the the feds’ rating system, the Brooklyn Bridge scored dramatically lower than the doomed Minneapolis bridge…


The Brooklyn Bridge also got lousy marks from the state, which called it one of three city bridges in “poor” condition with rusting steel joints and deteriorating brick and mortar on its ramps.

The biggest problem was the roadway deck on the Manhattan and Brooklyn approaches.

The state felt the “poor” rating was enough to raise concerns but not enough to shut down traffic like it did with the nearby Williamsburg Bridge in 1988.


…Charles Carrier, a spokesman for the city Department of Transportation, said, “The bottom line is, if a bridge is unsafe, we close it. Obviously the Brooklyn Bridge was not deemed to be unsafe, but there are issues we’re going to be addressing.”


All of [the New York State] bridges are rated by the U.S. Department of Transportation on the same 1-to-100 scale that gave the Minneapolis bridge a “sufficiency rating” of 50.

Considering factors such as structural adequacy and safety, serviceability and functional obsolescence, the Brooklyn Bridge was given the lowest possible “sufficiency rating,” a zero.


The city emphasized the Brooklyn Bridge was safe to drive on and promised a $725 million repair – but not right away.

“It is in poor condition but it is also in our reconstruction program,” said first Deputy Commissioner Lori Ardito. “For 2010.”

Well, I’m sure that gives New Yorkers a nice warm fuzzy feeling…

It does look like Governor Spitzer is on the case, but I don’t know how quickly NY can pull together $725 million bucks, or if the newly emboldened state legislature is going to balk.

If they do, I would recommend that Spitzer point to NOLA and MN as very pointed demonstrations of what happens when you don’t take structural warnings seriously.

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