Work crews will shut down a Maspeth street for six months beginning next week as construction of the new Kosciuszko Bridge begins in earnest, according to the state Department of Transportation (NYSDOT).
A one-block portion of 54th Avenue between Laurel Hill Boulevard and 43rd Street in industrial west Maspeth will be closed around-the-clock on or about Monday, Aug. 17, and will remain off limits through February 2016.
The eastern end of the existing Kosciuszko Bridge — which carries the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE) over Newtown Creek — passes over this portion of 54th Avenue.
In an advisory, the NYSDOT indicated the closure is required in order for contractors to partially remove an existing BQE viaduct, then install new underground utilities and girders and an abutment wall for the new bridge.
As alternate routes, drivers who normally head eastbound on 54th Avenue should instead turn east on 54th Road from Laurel Hill Boulevard, then north on 43rd Street to 54th Avenue. Drivers heading west from 54th Avenue should turn south on 43rd Street, then west on 54th Road to Laurel Hill Boulevard.
The closure will not affect service on the Q67 side, which has a bus stop in the area. Buses heading westbound will follow the westbound detour route, according to the NYSDOT.
The $555 million project to replace the existing bridge — an obsolete structure notorious for traffic jams and accidents due, in part, to its narrow configuration — will be completed in two phases. First, the NYSDOT will build a cable-stayed suspension bridge adjacent to the existing bridge on its eastbound side.
Once the first place is completed, all BQE traffic will be shifted onto the new span, and crews will then demolish the existing bridge. A second cable-stayed bridge will be erected in the original bridge’s footprint.
The new twin-span Kosciuszko Bridge will feature wider traffic lanes and a joint bike and walking path. The project also includes the creation of new parks and open spaces below the bridge on both sides of the creek.
Click here for more information about the project.