The Manhattan Bridge Archway in DUMBO has reopened today, giving the neighborhood more public space. The DUMBO Improvement District, who is helping to secure funding for the $500K project, noted that the historic, 46-foot-wide archway below the Manhattan Bridge will be "for public, non-vehicular use, granting access to a spacious but long-inaccessible public space and connecting two parts of DUMBO that had been separated for 17 years."
When the bridge opened nearly 100 years ago, it did have a public space in the archway, however for nearly two decades it's been used by the DOT’s Division of Bridges for the cutting and storage of metal needed for bridge projects. The materials stored there have now been moved to different storage areas throughout the city.
During the press conference this morning, Marty Markowitz declared that while the Brooklyn Bridge is more beautiful, this really adds something to the humble Manhattan Bridge. He then compared the former to Brad Pitt and the latter to himself.
The archway will be opened during the daytime hours until next year, when it will be accessible 24 hours a day, and more lighting and benches will be added. Markowitz even said he could see there being special events held in the archway at night--that is, for those who don't mind the constant soothing hum of subway and car traffic overhead.