The Brooklyn-bound span of the Kosciuszko Bridge is now open

Posted On Thu, August 29, 2019 By

Posted On Thu, August 29, 2019 By In Greenpoint, Transportation

Photo courtesy of Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Flickr

Following a ribbon-cutting ceremony yesterday afternoon and a nighttime reception complete with a light show and Billy Joel tribute, the Brooklyn-bound span of the Kosciuszko Bridge is now open to commuters. As the first major bridge built in NYC since the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge opened in 1964, the $873 million project was completed on budget and ahead of schedule. Together with the first span over Newton Creek—which was opened to traffic in April 2017—the bridge is expected to significantly reduce congestion and ease travel between Brooklyn and Queens.

Photo courtesy Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Flickr

“Today isn’t just about a new bridge that is smart, functional, on-budget and done early—it’s also about what this bridge symbolizes,” Governor Cuomo said in a statement. “At a time when we have so much negativity, frustration, and anger in this country, this bridge is an example of what government and society can do when you focus on the positive.”

The new suspension bridge replaces an old truss bridge of the same name that was built in 1939 and demolished in 2017 through an energetic felling process, the first-ever implosion of a major bridge infrastructure using explosives in New York City.

The new Brooklyn-bound span measures 952 feet in length and features a total of 56 stay cables made up of approximately one million linear feet of steel strands. All in all, it contains more than 3,000 tons of U.S. manufactured steel.

Photo courtesy Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Flickr

“It just proves New Yorkers can still dream—and build—big,” said Art Corwin, president of the General Contractors Association, in a statement. “For decades our state’s infrastructure only deteriorated, but today, we’ve once again proven that with strong leadership, smart investment, and innovative construction techniques, New York can once again be a national leader in infrastructure.”

The Kosciuszko Bridge carries approximately 200,000 commuters daily. Prior to the opening of the Brooklyn-bound span, the Queens-bound bridge carried three travel lanes in each direction of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. Now that both spans are completed, travelers will have five Queens-bound lanes and four Brooklyn-bound travel lanes, plus a 20-foot-wide bikeway/walkway on the Brooklyn-bound span. The Governor’s office expects the Kosciuszko Bridge will reduce delays on this segment of the BQE by 65 percent during peak hours.

Bikers have already reported that accessing the bikeway is an issue, however, as amNY reported. “You’re coming through a very truck-heavy neighborhood, an industrial neighborhood. It’s the kind of trucks that put pedestrians and cyclists at risk,” said Philip Leff, the chair of Transportation Alternatives’ North Brooklyn Committee to amNY. “For a decade of planning, you would think there would be some consideration about how a path like this would fit into a bike network but clearly that work hasn’t been done.”


The entrance to the park will be at this currently vacant plaza on the Brooklyn side of the bridge. Image courtesy of CityRealty.

Pretty soon the bridge will also have a new public space. As 6sqft recently reported, plans are underway for a new linear park called “Under the K,” that will be designed by Toronto-based architecture firm Public Work and stretch to Newton Creek. The park will allow access to the waterfront and feature public art installations and performances. It’s expected to be completed by the summer of 2020.

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