Unique Manhole Cover Facts You Didn’t Know

Manhole covers are one of the most overlooked pieces of street infrastructure, but they play a crucial role in keeping people safe. Here are five fun facts about manhole covers.

Fact #1: Manhole Covers Can Weigh Hundreds of Pounds

This is why it’s vital for them to be adequately secured—so they don’t cause severe damage or injury. Their weight can be attributed to the cast iron or other heavy metal materials used to create them.

Fact #2: NYC Held the Oldest Manhole Cover in the USA

In 1840, the oldest manhole cover in the USA was installed to allow access to the Croton Aqueduct. Unfortunately, this manhole cover was removed in 2018 but sat in that spot for over 150 years.

Fact #3: The Earliest Manhole Covers Can Be Traced Back to the Roman Empire

The very first manhole covers can be traced back to the 1st Century AD. In fact, Romans used slabs of rock or pieces of wood to cover the entryway to underground trenches that carried sewage—similar to what we use them for today.

Fact #4: There are 350K Manhole Covers in NYC

According to the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, there are roughly 350,000 manhole covers across all five boroughs. NYC is the home of some of the oldest manhole covers in the country, with several created in the 1800s to bring fresh drinking water to the city’s residents.

Fact #5: Japan Has a Large Manhole Cover Art Community

Manholes are often just an afterthought when it comes to city planning and construction. However, in some cities around the world, manholes are treated with the same level of importance as other aspects of the urban landscape. One example is Japan, where they hold contests to choose the best manhole cover design. Manhole covers in Japan are often decorated with elaborate designs that reflect the local culture and history. In some cases, the manhole cover art is used as a form of self-expression by local artists.

Choose Manhole Covers Direct

If you’re looking for American-made manhole covers and frames, you’ve come to the right place. At Manhole Covers Direct, we strive to provide our clients with custom pieces that suit their unique needs. Our engineers work directly with you to design custom-made to order manhole covers and frames, drain grates, and trench covers. Give us a call today at (973) 834-5976 or visit our website for a free quote.