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.
Contractor did a good job finishing the bridge ahead of time. Time will tell whether or not the bridges were built in the right way. There are still a few unfinished things like complete installing the bolts at the sleeve covers for the suspension cables. Right now C-clamps holding the sleeve covers, not bolts. Also, this morning, Friday, 08/30/2019, traffic on the Queens-bound (5 lanes) was great. However, the Brooklyn bound (4 lanes) was backed up all the way to the 2nd exit before the bridge. Could be congestion at the Williamsburg bridge to Manhattan created this problem. The Brooklyn bound seems always has to accommodate more traffic than the Queens bound one. Plus it also take traffic from LI Expressway merges in. Both directiond should have the same number of lanes. I drive throught this bridge every weekdays commuting to work in Queens. Just my (2) cents comment.
the design to exit the kosciuszko bridge from brooklyn to LIE to BQE should be two separate lanes instead of a merging lane New bridge same old problem
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?
How do you know this bridge was designed by NYSDOT?……
…It was supposed to be a tunnel!!
In other news, bridge collapses due to shoddy and rushed construction
I had the same thought, before they pat themselves on the back let’s pray it’s safe!
NYC should give more business to this company as a reward.
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”
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.
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.
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.
Why not just walk across the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge?
People did walk across the Kosciuszko for many years until the DOT made doing so impossible.
Terrific news! Wonder why they were able to beat the schedule by 4 years?
Because bridges are Cuomo pet projects, unlike the MTA for which he refuses to take any responsibility.
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!
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.
Did you even check the design?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
I almost fell off my seat when I saw who the contractor was. I said to my son – that’s the company you want to work for….and here it is – the company he works for. My son works for this company and absolutely loves it. He always talks about how pro-safety this company (Kiewet) is and talks about how he loves his job with them. He has learned a lot and has become an excellent worker. Kiewet stay strong and hopefully the jobs will keep coming your way. Congrats on a job well done. LOL
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!
Yes ! Now they get laid off . Should have taken their time
I say congrats to Cuomo too. He is the Gov. and if it was accomplished on his watch – then good for him. I take that bridge in and so happy it will help with traffic flow. Our City streets are horrible – we need them fixed. We have to stop with the low bid and look at quality of work as well. Lets go NY – we can do it!
With a record like that, they should be getting work from all over…..
“Cuomo’s team of engineers” LMFAO
And where do all these highways go, now that we are free?
Leonard Cohen, Stories of the Streets