Brooklyn Bridge To Get a Facelift

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The Brooklyn Bridge, one of New York City’s most popular icons, is getting a $508 million facelift.

Vice President Joe Biden and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the four-year project while standing in front of a dilapidated access ramp to emphasize how much the repair work is needed. The last time any major work was done to the 127-year-old structure was a decade ago, Bloomberg said.

“This is a necessary, worthwhile investment,” Biden said. “Much of what the recovery act does is good in and of itself, unrelated to all the benefits it brings in terms of employment and spending money in the community.”

In cities like New York, where the rubber hits the road is in job creation. But WNYC reports there’s no real telling how many jobs the project will create. So far the net is zero, despite work actually beginning in January, but city officials told the public radio station the number ranges anywhere between 834 direct and 2,594 indirect positions.

The Brooklyn Bridge, which carries 120,000 motoring, cycling and walking commuters every day, is really only getting a small fraction of the $7 billion in federal stimulus funds going to New York City. But it’s hard to hide anything in the Big Apple, so the city government’s website is graciously providing a chance to see exactly how the money is being spent. Check it out at the NYC Stimulus Tracker Site.