Manhattan Bridge

November 17, 2011 by

Free Things To Do, Local Guides, Sightseeing, Things To Do

View of the Manhattan Bridge from Brooklyn - photo courtesy of ramonfrombcn via Flickr

The Brooklyn Bridge is an iconic and historic symbol of New York City – but the Manhattan Bridge, often overlooked by visitors and overshadowed by its more famous neighbor down the river, has its own unique history and offers a one-of-a-kind view of the city at night.

The nickel-steel suspension bridge and corresponding tunnel have four subway tracks (the N, Q, B, and D), two decks, and seven traffic lanes (two in each direction on the upper level and three reversible on the lower level). It opened in 1909, cost roughly $31 million to put up, and is about 6,900 feet long. The designer, Leon Moisseiff, was a Jewish Latvian immigrant who graduated from Columbia University (and later lost his good reputation when one of his bridges, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge over Puget Sound, collapsed a few months after it opened).

In 1915, the Triumphal Arch was added to the Manhattan-side entrance; passing under it, you might think you’ve momentarily stepped into Paris, Athens, or Rome. It and the colonnade became an NYC landmark in the 1970s and were restored in 2000. From the Brooklyn side, you’ll see the familiar mass jumble of the financial district – and the Brooklyn Bridge leading into it. For a cool view of the Manhattan bridge itself, walk down Pike Street in Dumbo.

It may not be featured in as many romantic comedies, but the Manhattan Bridge gives walkers and drivers a truly majestic angle of the city. For the ultimate Manhattan Bridge experience (and what could be one of the visual highlights of your NYC trip), see the sparkling lights reflect off the East River by taking the Q or B trains at night!

-Natalie Grant

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