Manhattan Bridge Ornamental Globes Replaced After 110 Years

Posted on: November 25th, 2019 at 5:11 am by

Photo: Department of Transportation

The Manhattan Bridge is sporting a new pair of balls. Globes, that is.

As part of the overall structural restoration of the 110-year-old East River crossing, Department of Transportation last week installed the new globes atop the north tower. The bridge had been without since September 30, when the two decorative ornaments were dethroned from their century-old perch.

Both historic orbs were previously determined to be “structurally compromised and believed to contain lead paint,” according to the DOT, and “could not be salvaged.”

These replacement globes were recast and are apparently exact replicas. The south tower will undergo the same in spring 2020.

This latest round of action on the Manhattan Bridge is part of ongoing rehabilitation efforts that began way back in 1982. In fact, this is the fifteenth such project since then. The city identified certain “red flag issues” to ameliorate. Plans call for replacing corroded steel, replacing the rosettes ringing the four decorative globes (some of which are falling into the East River), installing new cornices, swapping out the deteriorated brackets (there are 10 on each tower), rehabbing trench drains on the roadway, and repairing the south walkway fence that is more than a century old.

The $75.9 million contract was awarded to Skanska last year.

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