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Manhattan Bridge New York is a suspension bridge that crosses the East River in New York City, connecting Lower Manhattan at Canal Street with Downtown Brooklyn at the Flatbush Avenue Extension. The main span is 1,470 ft (448 m) long, with the suspension cables being 3,224 ft (983 m) long. The bridge’s total length is 6,855 ft (2,089 m). This is one of four toll-free bridges spanning the East River; the other three are theQueensboro, Williamsburg, and Brooklyn Bridges.
The bridge opened to traffic on December 31, 1909. It was designed by Leon Moisseiff,and is noted for its innovative design. As the first suspension bridge to employ Josef Melan’s deflection theory for the stiffening of its deck, it is considered to be the forerunner of modern suspension bridges and this design served as the model for many of the long-span suspension bridges built in the first half of the twentieth century. The Manhattan Bridge was also the first suspension bridge to utilize a Warren truss in its design.
The Manhattan Bridge was the last of the three suspension bridges built across the lower East River, following the Brooklyn and Williamsburg bridges. It has four vehicle lanes on the upper level, split between two roadways. The lower level has three lanes, four subway tracks, a walkway and a bikeway. The upper level, originally used for streetcars, has two lanes in each direction, and the lower level is one-way and has three lanes in peak direction. The bridge once carried New York State Route 27 and later was planned to carry Interstate 478.
The original pedestrian walkway on the south side of the bridge was reopened after forty years in June 2001. It was also used by bicycles until late summer 2004, when a dedicated bicycle path was opened on the north side of the bridge, again in 2007 while the bike lane was used for truck access during repairs to the lower motor roadway, and for a third time in 2011, when ongoing construction on the north side of the bridge necessitated narrow shelters, narrowing the path to make it unsafe for cycling. The northern bridge bike path is also noted for poor signage that leads to cyclist and pedestrian conflicts.