Part of $873 Million Investment to Replace Former Bridge
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the spans of the former Kosciuszko Bridge will be lowered to the ground through an energetic felling process on Sunday, October 1 at 8 a.m. The work is part of the $873 million Kosciuszko Bridge project, which is replacing the former 78-year-old bridge with two new state-of-the-art, cable-stayed bridges. New Yorkers who wish to view the bridge felling at a designated viewing area must register for a lottery here by 4 p.m. on Saturday, September 30. Directions to the viewing area will be provided via email after registration.
"The new Kosciuszko Bridge is a triumph, showing the world that New York is meeting big challenges and getting things done, rejuvenating our transportation infrastructure and supporting economic growth," Governor Cuomo said. "The energetic felling of the approach spans of the former Kosciuszko Bridge marks another milestone in the construction of the first major new bridge in New York City in more than fifty years and is one more sign that New York State is building a brighter future."
Members of the media will be able to film and view the felling from the community viewing area, as well as a boat tour. Space is limited. Interested members of the media must RSVP to [email protected] by 12 p.m. on Saturday, September 30 with the names and contact information of all members who wish to attend.
Governor Cuomo opened the first span of the new Kosciuszko Bridge in April, celebrating completion of the $555 million first phase of the project, the largest single contract the New York State Department of Transportation has ever undertaken. The Queens-bound bridge is carrying three travel lanes in each direction of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway until the second, Brooklyn-bound bridge, is completed under a separate Phase II contract, valued at $318 million.
Sunday's controlled demolition will free up space to complete construction of the second span. Contractors will utilize "energetic felling" to lower the old steel truss spans in both Brooklyn and Queens to the ground, where the trusses will be dismantled using heavy equipment and removed.
The 20 trusses - 10 from each side of the bridge - total 3,100 feet in length. An estimated 22 million pounds of steel from the approaches will be recycled as scrap metal.
The former bridge's main span over Newton Creek was lowered onto a barge and removed on July 25.
When the new bridge is complete, there will be five Queens-bound travel lanes of the BQE and four Brooklyn-bound travel lanes, plus a 20-feet-wide bikeway walkway with spectacular views of Manhattan. The bridge carries approximately 200,000 commuters daily.
The Kosciusko Bridge project has been expedited and is scheduled to be completed in 2019, a full four years ahead of the original project schedule.
New York State Department of Transportation Acting Commissioner Cathy Calhoun said, "Because of Governor Cuomo's vision, we have a new Kosciuszko Bridge, the first new bridge built in New York City since the Verrazano Bridge in 1964. Removing the old bridge approaches is a significant step forward on the second bridge, which is going to reduce traffic congestion and improve the quality of life here for generations to come."
Currently, 56th Rd in Queens between 43rd Street and Laurel Hill Blvd and Gardner Avenue in Brooklyn between Meeker Avenue and Cherry Street are closed and are scheduled to reopen a week after the implosion.
Temporary street closures (to prevent public from entering the Exclusion Zone):
• Lombardy Street at Varick Avenue
• Cherry Street at Vandervoort Avenue
• Meeker Avenue at Varick Avenue
• Bridgewater Street at Meeker Avenue
• 56th Road at 48th Street
• 54th Road at 46th Street
• 54th Avenue at 46th Street
• 53rd Avenue at 46th Street
BQE traffic will be stopped 5 to 10 minutes prior to the detonation and it's expected that traffic will resume 10 to 15 minutes after detonation. During the time the BQE is closed,
NYPD plans to detour traffic using Traffic Enforcement Agents (TEAs) at key intersections, as follows:
• EB: exit at McGuiness Blvd to Greenpoint Ave to LIE EB Service Road back to BQE
• WB: exit at LIE to Greenpoint Avenue to McGuiness Blvd back to BQE
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