The Kosciuszko Bridge will soon be falling down — and an entirely revamped bridge will be built in its place.
“The bridge is over 70 years old,” said Adam Levine, spokesperson for the state’s Department of Transportation (DOT). “It’s in constant need of repairs at this point.”
Those who use the bridge connecting Queens to Brooklyn are familiar with its heavy traffic. Built in the 1930s, the bridge was constructed at an elevated level to allow tall-masted ships to pass under it via Newtown Creek. Those ships don’t typically operate anymore, according to Levine.
“The bridge is really just higher than it needs to be,” he said.
The heightened structure is hard for trucks to accelerate and decelerate, creating a build-up of traffic. A new and efficient structure, 45 feet lower than the original, is on its way.
For Phase 1 of the project, a new cable-stayed Queens-bound structure will be built parallel to the existing bridge, with adequate width to accommodate all traffic. Phase 2 will see construction of the Brooklyn-bound side, and the original Kosciuszko Bridge will be torn down. Connections to local roads and the Long Island Expressway will be included in the new design as well.
Project development began over a decade ago, and members of the Kosciuszko Bridge Stakeholders Advisory Committee, the DOT and other community organizations have finally been granted approval to operate on an accelerated schedule. A design-build team should be contracted by spring of this year – a full 18 months earlier than expected – under the NY Works program.
More information on the project can be found at dot.ny.gov/kbridge.
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