"Under the K Bridge Park" Features New Bike and Pedestrian Paths for Residents and Visitors
North Brooklyn Parks Alliance to Oversee Park's Future Maintenance and Programming
Before and After Pictures Available Here
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the completion of construction and official opening tomorrow of "Under the K Bridge Park," which will utilize land occupied by the former Kosciuszko Bridge to transform nearly seven acres beneath the Kosciuszko Bridge in Brooklyn into premier open space for the North Brooklyn Community. Under a permit, the State Department of Transportation, which oversaw construction of the facility, has turned nearly seven acres of state land to the North Brooklyn Parks Alliance to operate and maintain the facility.
"The Kosciuszko Bridge project continues to reap benefits not only for motorists, pedestrians and the cycling community, but for a North Brooklyn community craving for more open space in the midst of a worldwide pandemic," Governor Cuomo said. "The infrastructure projects that we are rolling out across the state are much more than just roads and bridges - they enhance safety and commerce and have the power to bring entire communities together safely. 'Under the K Bridge Park' is living proof that the Kosciuszko Bridge project didn't just connect two New York City boroughs but is helping to transform an entire community."
Under the K Bridge Park is fully connected to the existing shared use path on the Brooklyn-bound span of the Kosciuszko Bridge, enabling pedestrians and bicyclists to enjoy even more recreational activities as a result of this transformative bridge project. The facility will be open daily from dawn until dusk, with COVID-19 health and safety measures in place to ensure park visitors comply with the State's guidance on masks, social distancing, and gatherings.
Featuring elevated lawns, a rain garden, wetland gardens and wooded areas, "Under the K Bridge Park" features more than 20,000 trees and native plant species, including fern, birch, maple and evergreen trees. It also offers visitors views of the Manhattan Skyline and the Kosciuszko Bridge Main Span's cable-stayed structures.
In addition to a connector path that links the Shared Use path of the Kosciuszko Bridge with "Under the K Bridge Park," two other parcels beneath the Kosciuszko Bridge approach spans feature a small berm to accommodate seating, a large plaza area designed to inspire movement, from roller skating to skateboarding, and a larger hill area to accommodate viewing of programs and performances. The gem of the space is located on the waterfront of the Newtown Creek. Called "Creekside," it prominently features the concrete foundations of the old Kosciuszko Bridge Main Span from the original 1939 construction, offering these historical artifacts as sitting and viewing areas of the creek and the Manhattan skyline. There is also a small amphitheater at the edge of the Creek designed to feature more intimate waterfront performances.
New York State encourages residents to engage in responsible recreation during the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency. When visiting parks and the outdoors, visitors should seek to recreate locally, comply with the State's guidance on social distancing and masks, show respect for all outdoor adventurers, and act responsibly to protect themselves and others.
State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, "The Kosciuszko Bridge is one of the most significant infrastructure projects in New York City's history, providing long-awaited benefits to city motorists. With the addition of this truly innovative urban park, DOT is expanding those benefits to further integrate green, open space for the enjoyment of all New Yorkers. The COVID-19 public health emergency underscored the need for outdoor recreational opportunities and that's exactly what 'Under the K Bridge Park' provides - with expansive walkways, innovative design and landscaping, this bridge truly connects people through infrastructure and greenspace. One project at a time, Governor Cuomo continues to prove that here in New York, transportation infrastructure projects are the building blocks to transforming entire communities."
State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, "The Under the K Bridge Park continues Governor Cuomo's innovative work to create much-needed parkland for underserved communities. I applaud the Department of Transportation and the North Brooklyn Parks Alliance for their efforts to make this park a reality."
North Brooklyn Parks Alliance founding board member Joseph Vance said, "North Brooklyn has been historically underserved with its amount parks and open space. Our organization was formed to help address this shortfall. With very little land available to create new parks, Under the K Bridge Park opens the door for innovative transformation of underutilized public land for open space. We are grateful to State DOT for asking us to partner in this ambitious endeavor, Governor Cuomo for providing the funding, and his office for all their assistance in realizing it. Lastly, we all thank our designers, Public Work, for imaging this magnificent space."
Representative Carolyn B. Maloney said, "I'm thrilled to finally see the 'Under the K-Bridge Park' completed and opening to the public. I fought for and brought home a majority of the Kosciuszko Bridge's funding with $800 million to connect Queens and Brooklyn because not only did we need this new bridge, but we also needed this new green space for our community. This park is opening at a time when New Yorkers value green and open spaces more than ever after the grueling 14 months of the COVID-19 crisis. A new park is essential for the rebuilding of our great city, and I commend New York State, the State Department of Transportation, and North Brooklyn Parks Alliance for making it happen."
Senator Julia Salazar said, "The opening of the "Under the K" park is a moment for our communities in North Brooklyn, and all who collaborated on this project, to celebrate. This park brings acres of additional, public green space for Greenpoint residents to enjoy, as well as a pedestrian and bike path to make the park and the bridge safely accessible."
Assembly Member Emily Gallagher said, "The 50th assembly district has long been starved for open space. To have a beautiful park at the water's edge under the fantastic Kosciusko Bridge is a much needed respite, especially for those in the northern parts of our district."
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said, "The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the urgency of repurposing under-utilized urban space for parks and recreational uses. A study last year by the Trust for Public Land found that more than 1.1 million New Yorkers did not have access to any park within a 10-minute walk of where they lived. It is imperative that we look for creative opportunities to promote public space, which is why I'm thrilled to see the opening of the 'Under the K Bridge Park.' I thank the State for their partnership."
City Council Member Stephen Levin said, "This park is a much needed gift to the community after so many months of having to stay indoors and I commend the Governor's team for their hard work to make it possible. Recreational spaces are fundamental for the development of children and for our collective well-being and I look forward to seeing the community once again come together in this new and exciting public area."
"Under the K Bridge Park" also builds upon our previous efforts to create new parkland for Brooklyn residents, including Shirley Chisholm State Park. At 407 acres and situated along the shores of Jamaica Bay, it is the state's newest and largest public park in New York City. It also builds upon Sergeant William Dougherty Park, which opened on the Brooklyn side of the bridge in Greenpoint in December 2018.
The Brooklyn-bound span of the Kosciuszko Bridge officially opened in August 2019. The completed bridge represented the first major bridge crossing built in New York City since the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge opened to traffic in 1964. The opening of the new bridge, part of an $873 million design-build construction project, was accomplished a full four years ahead of schedule and on budget.