Seeing Bridge’s Future

Project Meetings In Greenpoint, Sunnyside

Plans for the new Kosciuszko Bridge over the Newtown Creek will be available for public review at two meetings the state Department of Transportation (DOT) will hold this month in Greenpoint and Sunnyside.

The DOT’s Greenpoint meeting takes place this Wednesday, July 9, at the Warsaw/Polish National Home, located at 261 Driggs Ave., while the Sunnyside session is scheduled one week later, Wednesday, July 16, at Sunnyside Community Services, located at 43- 31 39th St.

Both programs get underway at 6 p.m. with project displays available for public review. Representatives of the DOT and the design-build team contracted to erect the new bridge will give a detailed presentation at 6:30 p.m.

Audience members will have the opportunity to ask questions and offer comments regarding the Kosciuszko Bridge rebuild, which is regarded as the biggest project in state DOT history.

The $555 million endeavor- advanced through the New York Works initiative-will replace the existing, obsolete 75-year-old span carrying the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE) over the Newtown Creek with two parallel cable-stayed suspension bridges.

When it first opened in 1939, the Kosciuszko Bridge linked Meeker Avenue in Greenpoint with Van Dam Street in Long Island City. The span was later incorporated into the BQE during the 1950s.

Engineers indicated the bridge suffered significant wear-and-tear through the years, as it accommodated excessive amounts of traffic the BQE generates every day. In a June press release, State DOT Commissioner Joan McDonald noted the Kosciuszko Bridge carries up to 160,000 vehicles daily.

The Kosciuszko Bridge is also notorious for being featured on traffic reports, as its narrow lane configuration leads to regular bottlenecking and delays.

Phase 1 of the bridge project begins this summer with the demolition of structures on the southern side of the span that the state previously acquired.

Once the land is cleared, crews will erect the first cable-stayed bridge, which is likely to be completed in 2016.

Expressway traffic will be shifted onto the new span once it is completed, and the existing Kosciuszko Bridge will be torn down in 2017.

The second cable-stayed span will be built in its footprint and is projected to open in 2018.

Once completed, the new Kosciuszko Bridge will feature wider driving lanes and shoulders, a reduced road incline and various parks and streetscape improvements on both sides of the creek.

The design-build team selected to facilitate the project includes Skanska, a city-based contractor serving as managing partner; Kiewit Infrastructure; ECCO III and HTNB Engineering.

For more information, visit www.dot.ny.gov/kbridge.

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