Product Idea |

The Manhattan Bridge

While the Brooklyn Bridge may be older and more recognizable, its next door neighbor, the Manhattan Bridge, does the heavy lifting. Its underappreciated, intricate latticework bears seven car-and-truck lanes, as well as four subway tracks, across the East River and gives the Brooklyn neighborhood of Dumbo (Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass) its name. Approximately two million commuters use the bridge every day.

To find out about the Manhattan Bridge's slow resurgence from malaise and anonymity, check out this great New York Times article. For a fuller history, see the Wikipedia article.

If you "heart" NY, bridges, or Lego, please support this project. The Manhattan Bridge needs your love and the Brooklyn Bridge Cuusoo project will be lonely without its buddy!

Note: Supporting is free. There is no commitment to buy anything. Just create an account or sign in with facebook/twitter, and click "Support." Thank you!


- Single tower design
Having a single tower puts the focus on the details of the tower architecture (the latticework, main arch and spires). Making the whole bridge would mean making each tower really small, losing detail, or the whole thing prohibitively large. The single tower design also makes it easier to display on bookshelves and desktops.

- Intricate lattice work
The signature latticework of the bridge was reproduced in great detail and can be seen in the tower, the arch, the legs, and above and below the roadway.

- Microscale vehicles
The roadway is filled with cars, trucks, buses and the famous NYC yellow cabs.

- Multiple subway trains inside the tunnels

- Glow in the dark
1x1 round plates line the edges of the roadway, the ends of the cables, and top of the tower.

- Multicolor, textured water below
Translucent blue and green 1x1x2/3 slopes were used to create a choppy water effect.

- Elliptical base
An offset, elliptical base was created further enhance the dynamic feeling of water around the bridge.


I lived in Manhattan for almost 5 years. During the last two, I worked in Dumbo, Brooklyn, a neighborhood just across the East River. Dumbo is situated between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges, and I would marvel at both structures daily. Walking down Washington St. toward the East River, I would be treated to a spectacular view of the Manhattan Bridge between two buildings, the Manhattan skyline behind it, and the Empire State Building framed between its legs. I'd often have lunch at the little park along the water, with the shadow of the Brooklyn tower looming above.

After designing and building my Lego Brooklyn Bridge, I started looking around for another project. Thinking back to my original inspiration (New York), I realized the Manhattan Bridge would be a perfect counterpart... and much more of a challenge.

Ironically, my Manhattan Bridge tower was designed while on a roadtrip from San Francisco to L.A. I sat in the back with my laptop and Lego Digital Designer while my friends drove.

Unlike the Brooklyn Bridge project, which underwent many revisions even after parts had been ordered and it had been built, the Manhattan Bridge was designed right the first time and built in one shot. Parts were sourced from Bricklink, as usual.

One of the biggest challenges was all the lattice work... ridiculous amounts of cross beams, not just in the arms and legs, but even smaller cross beams above and below the roadway. Getting it to look right while maintaining proportions was difficult and I wound up working with odd number dimensions.

Please check out and support my Brooklyn Bridge Cuusoo project as well. With your help, everyone can have a (Lego) piece of Manhattan and Brooklyn... your very own piece of New York! Thank you!

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