The Manhattan Bridge is a suspension bridge that crosses the East River in New York City, connecting Lower Manhattan (on Canal Street) with Brooklyn (on the Flatbush Avenue extension), on Long Island. It was the last of the three lower East River suspension bridges to be built, preceded by the Brooklyn and Williamsburg bridges.
The bridge was opened to traffic on December 31, 1909, and was designed and built by Polish bridge engineer Ralph Modjeski, with the cable diversion designed by Leon Moisseiff, who later designed the unknown Galloping Gertie (the Tacoma Narrow Bridge that collapsed in 1940). It has four vehicle lanes on the upper level (divided between two roads). The lower level has three lanes, four subway tracks, a pedestrian sidewalk and a bicycle path. The upper level, which was originally used for streetcars, has two lanes in each direction, and the lower level is one-way. Previously, New York State Route 27 passed over the bridge and then was scheduled to pass over New York State Route 478. No tolls are charged for motor vehicles using the Manhattan Bridge.
The original footpath on the south side of the bridge was reopened after sixty years in June 2001. It was also used by bicycles until late summer 2004, when a bicycle path was opened on the north side of the bridge.1 Thus, an estimated 450,000 people cross the bridge each day in 85,400 vehicles and 950 trains. It is estimated that 75% of Manhattan Bridge users use public transport, and a minimum of 4,000 cyclists cross the bridge each day.