Bridge for sale, cheap

| Monday, March 18, 2002

New York City's new mayor announced recently he wants to sell the historic Brooklyn Bridge. The sale would be used to raise cash in a city reeling from the economic effects of September 11 coupled with the first recession in a decade. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who took office at midnight on New Year's Eve, said he also wants to sell three other bridges in the city. Bloomberg inherited a nearly $5 billion gap in his $40 billion spending plan, which administration officials say could be partly filled through the sale of the bridges. For sale signs on the Brooklyn, Manhattan, Williamsburg and Queensboro bridges are likely to generate opposition from elected officials in Brooklyn and Queens as is Bloomberg's budget proposal to charge tolls on the bridges, which are currently free. The bridges all span the East River, connecting Brooklyn and Queens to Manhattan.

The likely buyer is reported to be the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Bridge and Tunnels division, which already operates all other interborough toll crossings.

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