Kosciuszko Bridge demolition date remains a mystery after DOT denies September timeline

After the main span of the old Kosciuszko Bridge was lowered and barged away in July, crews will implode the bridge approaches on Sept. 24.
Photo by Dean Moses

It seems like the Department of Transportation (DOT) wants to keep the date of the Kosciuszko Bridge demolition a surprise.

After several publications reported that the remaining pieces of the old Kosciuszko Bridge, which connects Maspeth and Greenpoint, would be removed by controlled demolition on Sept. 24, a spokesperson for the DOT said that would not be the case.

At a 94th Precinct Community Council meeting, Captain Peter Rose of the 94th Precinct announced that the implosion of the approaches is set for Sept. 24 at about 5 p.m.

But a spokesperson for DOT said that there is no set timeline for the demolition and added “I couldn’t tell you why” Rose announced that specific date. There were rumors that the remaining parts of the bridge would be taken down in July but that proved to be just speculation.

A source who works in the demolition industry but asked not to be named told QNS that a company called Controlled Demolition, Inc. based in Phoenix, Md. is the implosion contractor and that they would demolish the bridge on Oct. 1.

When contacted, an employee referred QNS to Skanska Mechanical and Structural Inc. Calls and emails to the company were not answered as of press time.

QNS reached out to DOT to confirm or deny the Oct. 1 date and is awaiting response.

Governor Andrew Cuomo first announced plans of the demolition in February, saying that it would save the state seven to nine months of construction. The main span of the bridge was lowered on a barge and shipped to New Jersey in July.

Cuomo held a grand opening ceremony for the first phase of the bridge in April, which opened three lanes of traffic in both directions. The $555 million twin cable-stayed spans will be officially completed in 2020 with five lanes of traffic for the Queens side and four lanes of traffic for the Brooklyn side.

The controlled demolition will not blow up the bridge but will cut key connections that cause the spans to fall, a spokesperson for Cuomo said in February.

The Brooklyn and Queens spans will drop straight down onto berms made of soil to control vibration; no debris or dust is expected to fall as the spans will drop intact instead of in pieces.

As to when this demolition will actually occur? No one seems to know and residents of Maspeth and Greenpoint may be woken up by a loud bang in the coming months.