Streetfilms Shorties: The Manhattan Bridge Turns 100

The Manhattan Bridge officially opened on December 31, 1909. While its 100-year anniversary came and went with little fanfare a few months ago, city officials paid respects today.

At the ceremony, Clarence caught up with Gridlock Sam Schwartz, who heads the NYC Bridge Centennial Commission. In this clip Schwartz describes the nearly catastrophic deterioration of the bridge, which prompted a massive rehab that began in the 1980s and is just now concluding.

You’ll definitely want to pause and take a close look at the 1:01 mark for a reminder of just how easy motorists have it today compared to 100 years ago.

  • Using an inflation calculator I found in google….
    What cost $.10 in 1899 would cost $2.54 in 2009.

  • Joe B

    The Manhattan Bridge is my favorite bridge in New York and probably in the world. Long live the old MB.

  • Masked Carrot

    Today riding over Manhattan Bridge was a dream. Encountered a couple dozen people and cyclists, but looking over at the absolutely mobbed Brooklyn Bridge I was grateful for the peaceful ride.

  • Paul B

    Joe B, hear, hear. All the excuse anyone needs to live in Brooklyn and work in Manhattan (or vice versa.) I am just so ready for more late night summer bike rides home from work.

    Not exactly indispensable, but I would like to see that cyclone fence replaced with something that would open up the view.


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The NYC Bridge Centennial Commission, co-founded by “Gridlock” Sam Schwartz, organized a re-enactment today near the Williamsburg Bridge, calling attention to the hundredth anniversary of the last toll collected on the East River bridges. Mayor William J. Gaynor’s century-old decision to eliminate bridge tolls translates to a cumulative loss of $31 billion in potential revenue […]

DOT Deploys “Street Safety Managers” to High-Volume Bike Routes

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Congestion Charging in New York City: The Political Bloodbath

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Today’s Headlines

GM, Once the World’s Biggest Automaker, Files for Chapter 11 (NYT, NYT) PJ O’Rourke Pines for Days When Driving Made Him Feel More Powerful Than Genghis Khan (WSJ) What Will Happen to America’s Appetite for New Cars? (NYT) In Times Op-Ed, Sander Calls Out Albany for "Running Against the MTA" 2nd Ave Sagas: Transit Advos […]