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Kosciuszko Bridge to Fully Open in September, Project to be Completed Four Years Ahead of Schedule

An aerial view of the construction process on the twin-span bridge set to be fully operational by September. (Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

May 7, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan

The second span of the inter-borough Kosciuszko Bridge will open in September, which will mark the completion of the bridge four years ahead of schedule, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced at a press conference yesterday.

The bridge will provide the Brooklyn Queens Expressway with five Queens-bound traffic lanes and four Brooklyn-bound traffic lanes, as well as a 20-foot-wide bike and pedestrian path.

The new Kosciuszko Bridge, an expansive $873 million project, will be the first new bridge built in the city in 55 years, following the completion of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge in 1964. The new two-span suspension bridge was originally expected to be completed in early 2024.

Construction on the new bridge began in 2014, adjacent to the old truss bridge. The first span of the bridge opened to traffic in both directions in April 2017, at which point the old bridge officially closed and was soon demolished in order for construction to begin on the second span.

The first span is currently running with three lanes of traffic in each direction. This span will ultimately be the Queens-bound portion when the second span opens. The second span will be for Brooklyn-bound motorists when it opens.

“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,” Cuomo said.

The previous Kosciuszko Bridge, which opened in 1939, was well over capacity and facing daily bottlenecks. The bridge was initially designed to handle 10,000 vehicles but was servicing up to 200,000 vehicles every day, creating the severe traffic delays, Cuomo said.

It has been estimated that once the bridge is complete, travel speeds along the BQE will improve, with delays on this section of the highway decreasing by 65 percent.

Staging Area for the Kosciuszko Bridge (Photo: QueensPost)

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26 Comments

Princess Vespa

You all know they padded this number, right? Drs do this thing all the time. A you get a grim diagnosis then the patient pulls through. Suddenly the Dr is Doggie Howser! If the Dr says you have nothing to worry about and the patient dies, guess who gets sued?

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Fozzy Bear

How do you know this bridge was designed by NYSDOT?……

…It was supposed to be a tunnel!!

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ACRA

I had the same thought, before they pat themselves on the back let’s pray it’s safe!

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Busey

100% Agree with this comment, but NYC (as city) will never do since NYC gives business to only select few companies, and bidding is rarely open to others. It’s all “connected”

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Ronald Gonella

Great news!
A first for construction projects in this city for a long time.
The pedestrian & bike lane(s?) will be a welcome addition for access between the boros.

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Mike

Lol nobody is going to be walking across the Kosciuszko.

And how conditioned we all are to applaud the spending of over 3/4 Billion $ because it’s early. Still took over 5 years and you’d be nuts to believe it before you see it.

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damn gina!

I would love to walk from Sunnyside to Williamsburg, can t wait. I got bored walking over the QB bridge, theres nothing in Manhattan thats cool.

How do you finish something 4 years ahead of schedule, sounds like they made some bad planning.

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anon

People did walk across the Kosciuszko for many years until the DOT made doing so impossible.

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Gardens Watcher

Terrific news! Wonder why they were able to beat the schedule by 4 years?

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NotedHeathen

Because bridges are Cuomo pet projects, unlike the MTA for which he refuses to take any responsibility.

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Dietmar Detering

Cuomo is pushing for “design-build” (mostly outside of the NYC, though) and this bridge was done this way: One contract awarded by the state with little more than specifications of the bridge, a price, and a timetable. Any problems arising during construction had to be handled by the contractor (quickly) instead of putting the entire project on hold and leading to a ballooning of time and cost. When design-build is not being used (the default case for public projects of a certain minimum size in NY), the taxpayer’s agency (state, city, or some other public entity like the MTA) signs a contract with an engineering bureau, then there are separate bids with concrete, steel, plumbing, electrical, geo, mechanical, landscaping and what not companies plus a supervising construction management company. A nightmare at the start, only to get worse when problems come up and changes have to be coordinated. This, however, is a feature, not a bug, for the participating companies since it guarantees more money for them: public bidding is out of question on those change orders. (I think I got this right but welcome corrections) Kudos to the engineers, the team of general contractors, and all the workers helping to show with this bridge how it’s done right. And thanks to Cuomo for pushing this as a design-build process!

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Anonymous

Why didn’t they make the Brooklyn bound bridge wider to have 5 lanes like the Queens bound bridge, and put the pedestrian and bike path on a wider span? Now there will be bottle necking at the bridge. You need the same number of lanes a before without merging right before the bridge.

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John A

What bottlenecking? The fourth lane/right lane becomes exit-only for Meeker/Morgan and the remaining three lanes continue on. The BQE past this point only has three lanes anyway, so there’s no bottleneck.

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gagf

Now that we’ve spent billions building this new mega bridge for polluting cars, maybe we can build a proper subway connecting Queens to Brooklyn directly.

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Guest

I don’t care what people say about Cuomo or his family, look how fast they got this done, just like the other projects. If this project was done by city, they would still have 25 workers wandering around closing lanes doing nothing for years. Just look at the construction at North bound Van Wyck/Grand Central split, it’s a never ending nightmare.

God bless Cuomo and his team of engineers. This is not a silver bullet to the traffic problem on BQE, but it’s a step in right direction. Next let’s hope they address problems in rest of the span and get rid of the bottlenecks.

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Cuomo Is The Worst

Cuomo didn’t “get anything done”. He does not have a “team of engineers”. The engineers you should be thanking are from the NYSDOT and the contractor (Kiewit). All Cuomo does is bully his state employees into overworking themselves for his benefit and dangles incentive money (tax payer $$) in front of contractors to work extra shifts in order for an already bloated contract schedule to appear as if it is “coming in earlier than planned” so that Cuomo can have a nice news headline and gullible people like you signing his praises and continuing to vote him into office. So, great job falling for it. Please give credit where credit is due, to the Engineers of the agency and the contractor responsible for the project… not to Cuomo.

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Guest

Doesn’t matter, it’s under his watch and if Cuomo can do it, I’d like to see DeBlasio or someone else pull the same thing off, I don’t care either way, but it’s done (almost done) and it’s truly incredible. Didn’t DeBlasio blast Cuomo for not allowing city to assign the company to build this, if it was done by city, we’d still be looking at the old bridge. Whatever Cuomo did, worked, it’s not falling for it, I don’t care what you say, it’s done. As for my Tax dollars, I rather see it go towards bridge and road instead of nonsense or turn invisible. Maybe you like your tax money to go to homeless hotel shelters instead of roads and schools?

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coced

I don’t care what they say either, I won’t say anything good. But, the speed of construction is amazing, my hat goes off to the workers, engineers, and everybody connected to the project!

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stan cgaz

And where do all these highways go, now that we are free?
Leonard Cohen, Stories of the Streets

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