Kosciuszko Bridge To Be Replaced
By Luis Gronda
The New York State Dept. of Transportation is set to undergo a large project that will knock down the Kosciuszko Bridge and replace it with a brand new one.
The project is part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s NY Works initiative, which aims to create jobs for New York and revitalize the state’s infrastructure.
The bridge, which connects western Queens neighborhoods to northern Brooklyn, will be torn down and rebuilt in four phases.
Phase 1 would see the construction of the new eastbound side of the bridge, which would be adjacent to the existing bridge. Phase 2 would complete the connectors to the new bridge and move all car traffic off of the old bridge. After the current bridge is demolished in Phase 3, the last phase would be to build the westbound side of what will be the new Kosciuszko Bridge.
The new structure will include improved lanes in both directions, allowing vehicles to switch lanes, and a bikeway will be added parallel to the bridge.
The State DOT held a public meeting on Jan. 31 in Long Island City to discuss the project as a whole and to talk about the dewatering aspect of its construction. As part of the project, the State needs to remove some water from Newtown Creek, the body of water that the bridge is built over, so that they can place the base of the structure underneath the water.
Kate Zidar, the Executive Director for the Newtown Creek Alliance, an advocacy organization for the creek, said that there could be some impacts from the project, including increased traffic for both the Queens and Brooklyn sides of the bridge and poor air quality from the vehicles and construction that will be going on while they build the bridge.
“If you think about every aspect [of the project], there’s a potential environmental threat there,” Zidar said.
Construction on the project is expected to begin in Fall of 2013 and finish by Spring of 2018.
Reach Reporter Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400 Ext. 127 or email@example.com.