What a difference a week makes: the last time we were on the bridge, no canvas was in sight. But now the draping of the bridge has begun in earnest. Workers are installing canvas to be as part of the paint removal containment system. As Hasan Ahmed of the NYC Department of Transportation promised, "it will be lots of material." One coworker who bikes over the bridge reported this morning that the canvas is surprisingly disorienting for pedestrians. On the walkway, "you can see the sky, not the water," she said.
We were out on the bridge yesterday taking pictures--see the slideshow here.
A four-year, $508 million renovation of the Brooklyn Bridge is currently underway. But beyond some lane closures and a few construction signs, you might not have noticed much of a difference. That’s about to change.
Picture yourself on a bridge on the East River with a tangerine canvas that blocks out the skies.
Well, all right, it’s not going to be tangerine. (more)
Let’s say you’re a radio news producer who’s interested in governmental accountability. So you decide to track the money New York City is spending on the Brooklyn Bridge rehab. You’d go about it several ways: you’d call the city’s Department of Transportation for details. You’d file several Freedom of Information Law requests. And now you’d visit CheckbookNYC.com, a new website unveiled by the New York City Comptroller earlier this month. (More)
One of the main reasons WNYC decided to monitor the renovation of the Brooklyn Bridge is that we thought following this $508-million project would provide a good test case for government transparency. We would publicly mull over questions like How does the city award contracts? Where will the materials come from? Who will get the jobs? Read on, and we'll tell you how the main bridge contractor, Skanska-Koch, got a "marginal" rating for hiring women and minorities. But first...(more)
From 1996 to 2001, the New York City Department of Transportation employed about 40 bridge painters; none were female. In 2007, the United States District Attorney filed a discrimination lawsuit against the city, stating that "the DOT has never hired, extended an offer to hire, or employed a single woman as a Bridge Painter." In May a Manhattan federal judge found that the City of New York and the Department of Transportation were guilty of, in the judge’s words, “unvarnished sex discrimination...the net result was to exclude qualified and impressive women from pursuing the careers they desired with the City of New York.”
Earlier this week we wrote about Brooklyn Bridge contractor Skanska and how, at one point in the bidding process, their bid did not meet the city’s 14% disadvantaged business enterprise goal. The city expressed concern—but wound up awarding them the contract anyway.
Wednesday's official groundbreaking of the Brooklyn Bridge rehab brought out some big political names--Vice President Joe Biden, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Congressman Jerrold Nadler. What it did not bring was clarity on the job creation issue.
Vice President Biden comes to New York Wednesday to tout the success of the stimulus program. With Biden set to visit the Brooklyn Bridge, a project using $30 million in stimulus funds, we thought it would be an opportune time to recap our efforts to track "every dollar" of Brooklyn Bridge funding.
The specifications for the work done on the Brooklyn Bridge, as prepared by the New York City Department of Transportation, contain information about each item to be used in the bridge rehabilitation. We took a look at one item: $1,300 tree guards. Are they worth the cost, do they actually protect the trees--and are these trees we should be protecting in the first place?
The Brooklyn Banks (a red brick plaza under the ramps of the bridge on the Manhattan side) whose ramps, angled surfaces and staircases are catnip to skateboarders (and bikers, and practitioners of Parkour) -- is about to be taken offline. The Department of Transportation just posted a notice (pdf) that this area will be closed beginning May 15th. (More)
As the director of the East River Bridges for the New York City Department of Transportation, Hasan Ahmed is overseeing the $508,612,678 rehabilitation of the Brooklyn Bridge. WNYC’s Soterios Johnson and Karen Frillmann took a walk on the bridge with Mr. Ahmed to get more details about the work taking place on this iconic structure. (More)
A massive renovation of the Brooklyn Bridge is underway. Completing it will take at least four years, $508 million, and hundreds of workers; watching how the work progresses and the money is spent takes you. Want to get involved? Take our survey.