Photo Courtesy of the Office of the Governor
Cuomo toured the Kosciuszko Bridge site twice this week.
By Michael V. Cusenza
The second span of the Kosciuszko Bridge is set to open to traffic before morning rush hour Thursday, Aug. 29—four years ahead of schedule and on budget, Gov. Andrew Cuomo beamed Sunday as he toured the structure that straddles Newtown Creek to connect Queens and Brooklyn.
The project will replace the existing 77-year-old bridge, first opened in 1939, with two new state-of-the-art, cable-stayed bridges—one Maspeth-bound and one Greenpoint-bound. Starting early Thursday morning, the Queens-bound bridge will carry five lanes of traffic and a separate Brooklyn-bound bridge will carry four lanes, as well as a 20-feet-wide bikeway/walkway with spectacular views of Manhattan. The new Kosciuszko will be the first major bridge crossing constructed in the five boroughs since the Verrazzano Bridge in 1964.
Cuomo returned to the site Tuesday to announce an agreement that will lead to the completion of the first and second phases of “Under the K”—a project that promises turn nearly seven acres beneath the bridge in Brooklyn into a public program space and park. Under the agreement, the State Department of Transportation will provide the use of State land to North Brooklyn Parks Alliance—which is leading the design and construction, and will ultimately operate and maintain the space—to allow for the beginning of programming by next summer. Cuomo also noted that the State will spend $1 million for paving and prep work, as well as an additional $6 million to fully fund the capital investments planned for phase two of “Under the K.”