Aug. 22, 2019 By Allie Griffin
Governor Andrew Cuomo will host an official grand opening of the Kosciuszko Bridge next week, as the second span opens four years ahead of schedule.
The Governor’s invite-only grand opening will happen on Wednesday, Aug. 28 and the new Brooklyn-bound span is expected to open to traffic next month, putting the project four years ahead of schedule as its original completion date was booked for early 2024.
The bridge brings drivers from Greenpoint, Brooklyn to the Sunnyside, Maspeth area in Queens and back along the Brooklyn Queens Expressway. Once completely open, it will have five Queens-bound traffic lanes and four Brooklyn-bound traffic lanes, as well as a 20-foot-wide bike and pedestrian path.
The first span of the $873 million project opened to traffic in both directions in April 2017, three years after construction began in 2014. The old bridge still standing next to the new span was demolished soon after to allow construction of the second span.
The new Kosciuszko Bridge will be the first new bridge built in the city in 55 years. Its predecessor was built in 1939 and at the time was designed to handle 10,000 vehicles, yet 200,000 vehicles driving over it every day in the 21st century meant severe traffic congestion and delays with daily bottle necking.
With its completion, highway delays in this stretch of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway are expected to decrease by about 65 percent.