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Photo courtesy of the NYS Department of Transportation
Photo courtesy of the NYS Department of Transportation
The first half of the new Kosciuszko Bridge, shown in this March 2017 photo, opened on April 27.

The first span of the Kosciuszko Bridge connecting Brooklyn and Queens will open to traffic in both directions on April 27 and will be accompanied by a light show to celebrate the opening, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday.

The first new bridge to be constructed in New York City since the Verrazano Narrows Bridge opened in 1964, the new structure will replace the existing 78-year-old bridge. The final product will be two cable-stayed bridges – the Queens-bound side holding five lanes of traffic and the Brooklyn-bound span holding four lanes of traffic. The Brooklyn-bound span will also feature a 20-foot-wide bikeway and walkway, and both sides will include shoulders.

A 7 p.m. party near the bridge will display the LED light system, which will be installed in all seven MTA-operated bridges and tunnels and the George Washington Bridge by May 2020. According to the governor, this system will act as a tourism revenue boost.

The light show will be coordinated to music airing on multiple iHeartRadio stations and will be the first performance dubbed “The New York Harbor of Lights” that will illuminate crossings with multicolored LED light shows. It will also include coordination with the lights on the Empire State Building.

In February, Cuomo announced that two parts of the bridge would be demolished so that construction for phase 2 of the $555 million project could begin in May, seven months ahead of schedule.

The first new bridge’s opening marks the completion of the project’s first phase. The new bridge will carry three lanes of traffic in each direction until the second bridge is complete in 2020. According to the governor, the new bridge will benefit about 200,000 riders each day.

The roadway incline will also be lowered by approximately 35 feet to make it easier for trucks and other large vehicles to maintain consistent speeds on the bridge.

“The Empire State is undertaking the most ambitious infrastructure program in the nation, and the new Kosciuszko Bridge will be an iconic New York structure for generations to come,” Cuomo said. “The new bridge – the first major New York City Bridge to open in more than 50 years – will bring much-needed relief to commuters and be a spectacular addition to the New York City skyline. It is a vibrant symbol of how the state is not just talking about moving vital infrastructure projects forward, but actually getting them done and restoring New York’s tradition of excellence.”

The bridge is named after Thaddeus Kosciuszko, a Polish general in the American Revolutionary War. The bridge connects Greenpoint, Brooklyn and Maspeth.

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Pedro Valdez Rivera Jr. April 28, 2017 / 05:50PM
Yet we still get crappy bus, subway and train service with our deteriorating infrastructure in NYC, without any kind of reliable sources of funding soon.
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