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Cuomo reveals plans to blow up old Kosciuszko Bridge

The old Kosciuszko Bridge will go out with a bang when construction of the new, replacement span is opened to traffic.
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By Ruth Brown

The Kosciuszko Bridge is going out with a bang!

The state will blow up parts of the old span sometime this summer, Gov. Andrew Cuomo told CBS2 Tuesday.

Once traffic is up and running on the brand-new incarnation of the bridge — scheduled to open in April — crews will haul the center portion away and make the remainder of the 77-year-old antique go “boom.”

Removing the 2,400-ton center span will take two barges and 48 hours and will take place sometime in April or May, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Sending the rest of the bridge up in smoke instead of dismantling the entire thing will save between seven and nine months of work, Cuomo claimed.

A spokesman for the Newtown Creek Alliance, a community organization that monitors environmental activity on both the Queens and Brooklyn sides of the waterway, said it wasn’t aware of the explosion plans. He said the group isn’t too worried about debris ending up in the river because the state has paid a lot of attention to keeping workers and the waterway safe so far during construction.

Workers started building the first of two new eye-catching Kosciuszkos in 2013 and are scheduled to kick off construction on the second — slated to be ready in 2020 — once the original bridge is reduced to rubble.

The first of the new bridges will sport five lanes and ultimately serve Queens-bound traffic, while the second will welcome travelers to Kings County with four car lanes and a bike and pedestrian path.

Reach deputy editor Ruth Brown at rbrown@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–8309. Follow her at twitter.com/rbbrown.

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