NEW YORK—Several ramps on the Brooklyn Bridge that have been a major source of frustration for drivers for decades have been expanded.
Lanes added to two major choke points on the Manhattan side of the bridge were opened 10 days ago, and a third expansion is nearing completion across the East River in Brooklyn.
Janette Sadik-Khan, the commissioner of the Department of Transportation (DOT), and state Sen. Daniel Squadron, made the announcement in City Hall Park on May 13.
The first expanded ramp connects the Brooklyn bridge to the northbound FDR Drive lanes. The second ramp is on the southbound lanes of FDR Drive headed toward the Brooklyn bridge and the Civic Center. The DOT is also nearing completion on a third expansion on the ramp connecting the bridge’s Brooklyn-bound lanes to Old Fulton Street and Cadman Plaza West in Brooklyn Heights.
Both of the newly expanded ramps routinely backed up traffic and were prone to accidents as people cut into lanes at the last moment to skip the traffic.
“Anyone who’s driven the bridge to Manhattan and tried to get off at the FDR exit knows about the Brooklyn Bridge squeeze,” said Sadik-Khan. “You could probably see the backups on the bridge on Google Earth.”
Approximately 120,000 vehicles cross the Brooklyn Bridge every day, according to the DOT. A $508 million project to repaint and upgrade the Brooklyn Bridge was started in 2010 and is expected to be completed next year.
The DOT is undertaking $6 billion in construction projects across the city, including upgrades on all East River bridges and the St. George Staten Island Ferry Terminal ramps.
New York City has an inventory of more than 788 bridges.