August 3rd, 2007


Brooklyn Bridge rated worse than collapsed Minnesota Bridge

First off, if you didn't hear, a bridge collapsed in Minneapolis. It had a structural sufficiency rating of "50" on the 0-100 scale the federal government inspectors use, marking it as "structurally deficient".

The Brooklyn Bridge has a rating of 0 (yes, out of 100). It is rated "Poor" by the City and State guidelines.


Wait a fucking second, I ride over the Brooklyn Bridge every day!

Yes, that's right - the bridge that collapsed is considered much more structurally sound than the Brooklyn Bridge, which sees much more traffic and is a local and arguably national icon. Nice. But hey, not to worry, the city is planning on fixing it - starting in 2010.

A local schoolteacher illustrates the problem with our educational system:

“I think because it’s been up for over 120 years, it’s got to be safe,” said Jennifer Cain, 41, a kindergarten teacher. “As a New Yorker, I think of the Brooklyn Bridge as a road between the two boroughs. You don’t think of it so much as a bridge.”

Yes, you nailed it! It's really, really old, so it must be sound. And I too think of it as a road between two boroughs (that crosses over water), which is totally different from a bridge. I mean, a bridge, that's crazy, a bridge is a road over water that in NYC generally spans two boroughs. Completely, completely different. If only everyone was so enlightened. (The good news: at least she's only teaching kindergarten children.)

The good news? The Manhattan Bridge's north bike lane reopens on August 6th. Guess it's time to switch my route. :P