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Queensboro and Other East River Bridges Get Millions From City for Repairs

By Shaye Weaver | March 29, 2017 4:04pm
 The Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge.
The Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge.
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DNAinfo/Mary Johnson

NEW YORK CITY — The Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge is getting the lion's share of capital funding for major repairs planned for the city's East River bridges over the next three years.

Mayor Bill de Blasio's 2017 Capital Commitment Plan through 2020 parcels out $110 million for the bridge, bringing the total planned funding for the project to $392 million — the most of what's been allotted for the East River Bridges, according to the city's Independent Budget Office.

The Brooklyn Bridge will be given an additional $34 million for ramp rehabilitation and repainting for a total of $377 million; the Manhattan Bridge was allotted $33 million more for hazard mitigation and other rehab work totaling $127 million; and the Williamsburg Bridge capital budget was increased by $13 million to $40 million for hazard mitigation, IBO's report states.

The Williamsburg Bridge already has $280 million allocated for 2021 for repair work and painting, the report says.

The Department of Transportation is planning a $353 million replacement of the upper level of the Queensboro Bridge. Remaining funds will go toward adding hazard mitigation to protect the bridge against natural disasters or other threats, like structural hardening, fire-suppression systems and security cameras, according to officials.

All the funding for the project is budgeted for the 2017 and 2018 fiscal years.

The Queensboro Bridge, which is the East River's busiest crossing, only earned a "fair" grade in the DOT's most recent rating system, with the Brooklyn Bridge getting the lowest rating, the IBO stated.

The DOT did not immediately return a request for comment about the project on Wednesday.

Overall, the mayor's budget adds $191 million to bridge repairs and $150 million to repave and resurface streets across all five boroughs. 

The budget is the largest capital investment in East River bridges since 2010, when the city put $682 million toward Brooklyn and Manhattan bridge repairs, according to the IBO.