3. Manhattan Bridge and other NYC Bridges

The Manhattan Bridge was originally a medium gray color. But in the 1970s, it was repainted “Manhattan Blue.” The official colors of Manhattan are orange and blue, as you’ll see on the borough flag. The Chief Engineer decides what color is appropriate for any particular structure in the New York City system, “Bridge Man” Dave Frieder tells us.

Hell Gate Bridge was originally painted black, but in 1996 to 1997 Senator Patrick Moynihan (the namesake of Moynihan Station next to Penn Station) decided it should be a deep maroon “Hell Gate” red. Due to a poor overcoat and pigment, it has faded over the years to a light pink. The paint is protecting the steel but the color composition of the paint has failed.

The other bridges in New York City all have had slight changes as well, continues Frieder. The George Washington Bridge, planned as a pink granite Beaux Arts bridge) was originally a silver color, but since lead paint can’t be used anymore, it is painted a very light grey. The Henry Hudson Bridge used to be a forest green to match the trees surrounding uptown. Today, the TBTA bridges, which include the Verrazano, Throgs Neck, Triborough, Bronx-Whitestone and Henry Hudson are all painted a gray green.