NEW YORK - Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday that the construction of protected bike lanes on the Brooklyn Bridge will officially begin on Monday, June 21.
The project will convert the innermost Manhattan-bound car lane on the bridge into a two-way protected bike lane and is expected to be finished this fall.
"Bridges for the People is a beautiful reimagining of New York City’s most iconic bridge," said Mayor de Blasio. "Before the Brooklyn Bridge was last reconfigured in 1950, it carried 400,000 New Yorkers every day—but completely replacing trolleys with car lanes reduced the number of daily bridge users by more than half. By adding new protected bike lanes on the bridge, we will finally begin to re-balance that equation, supporting more sustainable transportation for decades to come."
Get breaking news alerts in the free FOX5NY News app!
Drivers who usually take the Brooklyn Bridge from downtown Brooklyn are being advised that they may have to adjust their commuting patterns both during and after construction.
Beginning Monday evening, the right turn from westbound Tillary Street onto the Brooklyn Bridge will no longer be permitted. Combined with delays expected for the planned rehabilitation in the months ahead along the triple-cantilever section of the BQE, drivers are advised to seek alternate routes to Lower Manhattan, including using the Manhattan Bridge, the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel, or by opting for cycling or mass transit.
"The Brooklyn Bridge, one of the nation’s most beloved structures, will this year celebrate its 138th birthday," said Department Of Transportation Commissioner Hank Gutman. "Over that long history, the bridge has changed with the times – as horse-drawn carriages were replaced with trolleys, which were then retired with the advent of car lanes. In the coming months, we are going to transform this bridge we all love once again – this time with new bicycle lanes that invest in the bridge’s more sustainable future. We ask New Yorkers for their patience during construction, and encourage drivers to use other crossings into Manhattan. And of course, we look forward to the first bike ride this fall."
The bike lane project was initially announced in January as part of de Blasio's State of the City address. De Blasio had promised to create 30 miles of protected bike lanes citywide in 2021. The Brooklyn Bridge is just over one mile long.