Fresh from having its stonework scrubbed (and vendors removed from its pedestrian planks), the Brooklyn Bridge has received a literal glow up. The 140-year-old landmark has been spruced up with an assist from new lighting — 56 energy efficient LED lights, to be exact, turned on for the first time on Thursday.
Bright lights, big bridge (Courtesy DOT)
“One of NYC DOT’s most cherished responsibilities is maintaining ‘America’s Eiffel Tower,’ and these new lights will showcase its beauty for decades to come,” said DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez.
The cleaning of the bridge restored the bridge to its “original light gray color,” which the lighting illuminates, the agency said. The lighting alone cost the city $2.4 million and required five months of installation. The last time the bridge’s towers were this lit was 1983, for its centennial celebration. Officials expect the new lights to last at least 20 years.
The bridge has been undergoing a progressive facelift for the past four years, a project that will conclude this year. Included is a $300 million endeavor to “meticulously scrub” dirt and soot from every stone, the agency said.
“After decades of maintaining a brown appearance from generations of dirt, grime, and pollution, the deep clean restored the bridge’s towers to their original gray color,” the agency said in a press release.
The Brooklyn Bridge, which opened in 1883 and is a UNESCO World Heritage site, handles 120,000 vehicles, 30,000 pedestrians and 4,000 cyclists daily, so it is perhaps no surprise the structure needed a little nip and tuck.