How many bridges are there in NYC

Bridges in New York City

At the end of 2001, New York City had a total of 2,027 bridges. The oldest bridge in the city no longer stands. King’s Bridge, built in 1693, spanned Spuyten Duyvil Creek between Manhattan and the Bronx and was destroyed in 1917. The oldest surviving bridge is the Highbridge from 1843.

It runs between Manhattan and the Bronx over the Harlem River and is an aqueduct with a water pipe, so it is not accessible to traffic. The oldest traffic bridge in the city is also one of the most beautiful and famous: the Brooklyn Bridge, completed in 1883. Designed by John Augustus Roebling and completed by his son Washington Roebling, it is one of the architectural marvels of the USA and has had a decisive influence on the rest of the bridge construction.


At that time it was the longest suspension bridge in the world, its total span is 488 meters. 22 kilometers of steel cables hold the bridge with its neo-Gothic pillars. The wind, which sometimes blows sharply through the taut ropes, makes the steel harp ring. The Brooklyn Bridge was modified several times and cost many workers their lives in the construction. The bridge is also attractive for walkers because it allows beautiful views of the skyline and ships from the pedestrian paths (Wikipedia entry).

Traffic on the bridges

In addition to the Brooklyn Bridge, two other suspension bridges span the East River. In 1903 the Williamsburg Bridge completed, striking with its steel towers. It is the longest of the three bridges. The Queensboro Bridge has been in service since 1909 with its two decks and is one of the largest cantilever bridges in the USA between 59th Street in Manhattan and Long Island City in Queens. The fourth major bridge over the East River is the Manhattan Bridge, opened to traffic on December 31, 1909.

According to the traffic volume, the bridges are ranked as follows (the number of vehicles on an average weekday in 2000 is given, unfortunately we do not have any more recent data):

  • Queensboro Bridge: 182,900
  • Brooklyn Bridge: 148,800
  • Williamsburg Bridge: 108,300
  • Manhattan Bridge: 75,700

There are 25 movable bridges in New York City, namely

  • 2 draw-in bridges,
  • 7 swivel bridges,
  • 4 lifting bridges,
  • 12 drawbridges

Basically, the bridges are administered by departments of the City of New York, in particular the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Department of Parks and Recreation.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) operates the following bridges: Bronx-Whiteston Bridge, Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge, Henry Hudson Bridge, Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge, Queens Midtown Tunnel, Throgs Neck Bridge, Triborough Bridge , Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. The port operator Port Authority of New York and New Jersey looks after the bridges Bayonne Bridge, George Washington Bridge, Goethals Bridge, Holland Tunnel, Lincoln Tunnel, Outerbridge Crossing.

What are B&T people? Residents of Manhattan use this, somewhat condescendingly, to refer to the weekend visitors who come in from New Jersey and Connecticut through “B” and “T’s”, i.e. bridges and tunnels.