Photo: Mark Hallum/QNS
Governor Cuomo stands on one of the towers of the newest span of the Kosciuszko Bridge during a press tour on Monday.

The Kosciuszko Bridge, or the K Bridge as Governor Andrew Cuomo calls it, will have its second cable-stayed span open this September, bringing the reconstruction project to a close well ahead of schedule.

Cuomo conducted on Monday a press tour of the work site up more than 10 flights of stairs unveiling a nearly completed roadway as well as cabling to suspend the concrete and steel above Newtown Creek.

“This replacement bridge was done in a totally different method than the state had used before: it’s what is referred to as design build construction,” Cuomo said. “This bridge is four years ahead of schedule from what the original time estimate was if the government had done the job. So just the initial change, the design build saved us four years.”

There will be five Queens-bound lanes and four Brooklyn-bound lanes upon the second spans completion and will include a pedestrian and bike path.

Making the bridge accessible to foot traffic and bikes was a opportunity for the state to build green space on each side allowing access to the waterfront.

The project totaled $873 million for the state with over $100,000 incentive for everyday the contractors push closer to completion ahead of schedule.

Until the May 6 announcement, the expected completion date had been December.

In April 2017, Cuomo cut the ribbon on the eastern span of the bridge with flare by arrive at the ceremony driving a 1932 Packard owned by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who also served as governor of the New York.

“That bridge is now handling the same volume of traffic that the old bridge was handling,” Cuomo said. “I think it enhances the Brooklyn and Queens skyline … When you think about this bridge being the first bridge since the Verrazzano, 1964, that means a entire generation has grown up having not seen any new dramatic, big projects.”

The original Kosciuszko Bridge was built in 1929 and named after a Revolutionary War hero from Poland. The new spans between Brooklyn and Queens will increase capacity and decrease delays by 65 percent, according to Cuomo.

The old bridge, dismantled over the course of 2017, was built to endure about 10,000 vehicles, but was actually seeing double that amount of crossings per day, Cuomo said.

 

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