In early October, we reported that the “globes” on the Manhattan Bridge were being removed and replaced. Technically called spheres, they were were original to the Manhattan Bridge when it opened in 1909 and are made of twenty radially mounted segments with spaces between. They had been deteriorating for quite some time, and were deemed “structurally compromised” to the point that they could not be salvaged. Cast steel replicas were made, and one of Untapped New York’s readers, Roger Bultot, sent us photographs on Friday noting that some spheres had reappeared.
The DOT had announced when the replacement project began that the spheres would be replaced by the end of the year, and it looks like they may be on track. Two of the spheres on the Brooklyn side are still missing as of this article publishing and a DOT spokesperson tells us that so far, “two of the globes have been replaced with similar replicas.” The replacement project is part of a $75.9 million contract with Skanska to rehabilitate the Manhattan Bridge. According to Skanska’s press release for the project, the company is “performing significant structural and component rehabilitation on various aspects of the bridge. Skanska will also be making upgrades to the bridge’s safety and maintenance features, including its fire suppression system and its dehumidification and drainage infrastructure.” This is not the first time Skanska is working on the Manhattan Bridge, it completed the rehabilitation of the north spans in 2004 and the rehabilitation of the lower roadway in 2008
Next, check out the Top 10 Secrets of the Manhattan Bridge.