We’re not chopped liver here in Brooklyn, Mr. Veep!
Vice President Joe Biden kept his smile glued, his greeting hand outstretched and his pol’s banter tweaked to high hilt when he visited the Brooklyn Bridge — on the Manhattan side — to crow about the venerable viaduct’s mega-million-dollar facelift, part of which is being ponied up by the feds as part of the “stimulus” package.
Borough President Markowitz and Mayor Bloomberg led the welcome committee for Biden, who gushed with contractors in hard hats over the $508-million renovation project, which will take four years to complete — a traffic nightmare, ya think? — with the city picking up approximately $300 million of the tab.
As a “thank you,” Biden received a replica of the striking structure, which cost $15 million to build before it opened on May 24, 1883. Even in today’s dollars, the cost of initial construction is well below the cost of the current repairs!
The infrastructure injection will result in the construction of wider entrance ramps on both the Manhattan and Brooklyn side of the 1.1-mile-long suspension bridge — one of New York City’s most traveled architectures. The bridge will also be repainted for the first time since 1991.
The renovations, said Bloomberg, are the first major work in a decade on the bridge, which features a pair of neo-Gothic towers and elegant steel cables.