A Field Guide to New York City Manhole Covers

MN/DOT 715

Minnesota Dept of Transportation

cover image

Life in the Big City

This cover is sitting pretty on Park Ave. between 54th and 55th Sts., not bad for a humdrum Minnesota Department of Transportation standby! Don't believe me when I say it's come all the way from MN? Download the MN/DOT Standard Detail Plates for the 715 manhole cover Here and see for yourself!


The design is a variant of an old standby, the single stranded basket weave. It stands out mainly by the 17 vent and 2 grip holes almost (but not really) symmetrically arranged amidst the strands.


It's unknown what the MN/DOT had originally planned for this cover, but it now seems to be an access hole for the New York City sewer line running under the sidewalk on the west side of Park Ave.


How this accidental arrived in the heart of Manhattan is known to only a few, and they do not seem to be on Instagram. We are thus left to use our imaginations - If sewer lids could fly!

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Don Burmeister -- Photographs