See Drone Video Showing Aerial Footage of Construction of Second Span Here
Project Created Approximately 11,300 Jobs
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the second span of the Kosciuszko Bridge will open in September 2019, a full four years ahead of schedule and on budget. The bridge, part of an $873 million design-build construction project, is the first new bridge built in New York City since the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge opened to traffic in 1964. Once complete, the new bridge will encompass five Queens-bound travel lanes and four Brooklyn-bound travel lanes of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, plus a 20-foot-wide bikeway/walkway on the Brooklyn-bound span with spectacular views of Manhattan. The project has helped to support approximately 11,300 jobs in construction and related fields in the New York City metropolitan region.
"This is going to be the first new bridge built in New York since the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in 1964, so it is special in many ways. The old bridge was designed to handle 10,000 vehicles but was actually handling 200,000 vehicles - it was way over capacity, narrow and steep, creating problems for trucks and causing severe bottleneck," Governor Cuomo said. "When the bridge opens in September there will be nine lanes of traffic. We advanced the schedule and we're saving four years, which is critical because an entire generation has grown up without seeing really new, dramatic, big projects getting done. But New Yorkers still can do it. We can still do great things when we put our mind to it, and we can still do it right and do it well and we can still make it beautiful. That's what this bridge says to me, and I hope it says that to the people of New York."
The first span of the Kosciuszko Bridge opened to traffic in April 2017, completing the $555 million first phase of the project and representing the single largest construction contract in State Department of Transportation history. The spans of the former Kosciuszko Bridge were lowered to the ground through an energetic felling process in October 2017 in the first-ever implosion of a major bridge infrastructure using explosives in New York City. The first phase utilized 3,850 tons of U.S. manufactured steel.
The Kosciuszko Bridge carries approximately 200,000 commuters daily. Currently, 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, which is valued at $318 million. Governor Cuomo toured the construction area of the second span this afternoon.
We can still do great things when we put our mind to it, and we can still do it right and do it well and we can still make it beautiful.
As the first cable-stayed structures in New York City, the two spans will create a signature skyline between Brooklyn and Queens, and will help improve travel speeds on this segment of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. The Kosciuszko Bridge will also eliminate delays by 65 percent on this segment of the BQE during peak hours though a number of different measures, including:
- Standard driving lane widths - currently the lane widths on the main span are less than the required 12 feet for an interstate highway.
- Standard shoulder widths - currently there are no shoulders, so if a car breaks down on the bridge, a lane is automatically closed.
- Extra lanes in both directions.
- A reduced roadway incline, which will make it easier for trucks to maintain consistent speeds on the bridge. The new bridge is also 35 feet lower than the old bridge.
In December 2018, Sergeant William Dougherty Park opened on the Brooklyn side of the bridge in Greenpoint. The public park was expanded and completely renovated as part of the Kosciuszko Bridge construction project and includes a playground, skate park, basketball court, handball courts, a water play area with spray showers and a comfort station. Seating is available throughout the modern, landscaped facility. A new park will be completed on the Queens side in 2022. Streetscaping enhancements such as decorative lighting, tree plantings and new sidewalks are also being placed on local streets within the project limits of the Kosciuszko Bridge.
Additionally, the project to replace the Kosciuszko Bridge utilizes Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) goals established by the Federal Highway Administration. For both phases of construction, the State Department of Transportation expects participation funding to total $113 million.