2017-05-03 / Front Page

'Major Milestone'

Grand Opening: New Kosciuszko Bridge


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the grand opening of the first span of the new Kosciuszko Bridge. Joined by Queens and Brooklyn dignitaries and community members, the Governor celebrated the grand opening with a spectacular light show synchronized to music on iHeartRadio stations. The light show is the first performance in “The New York Harbor of Lights” that will illuminate crossings with multicolor 
Photo Philip Kamrass/ Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the grand opening of the first span of the new Kosciuszko Bridge. Joined by Queens and Brooklyn dignitaries and community members, the Governor celebrated the grand opening with a spectacular light show synchronized to music on iHeartRadio stations. The light show is the first performance in “The New York Harbor of Lights” that will illuminate crossings with multicolor Photo Philip Kamrass/ Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the grand opening of the first span of the new Kosciuszko Bridge – the first new bridge constructed in New York City since the Verrazano Bridge in 1964. The Governor celebrated the opening on the new bridge with Queens and Brooklyn dignitaries and community members. The grand opening included a celebratory march across the brand new bridge, with delegations from both the Queens side and the Brooklyn side meeting in the middle to kick off the celebration. The Governor also drove across the bridge in a ceremonial first ride in President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s 1932 Packard. The new span opened to traffic in both directions at 11:30 p.m. on the night of Thursday, April 27.


Queens Borough President Melinda Katz attended an April 27 ceremony hosted by Governor Andrew Cuomo marking the opening of the first span of the new Kosciuszko Bridge connecting Brooklyn and Queens. Borough President Katz praised Governor Cuomo for his commitment to the replacement of the old Kosciuszko Bridge, a major infrastructure project that will bring much needed relief to New York commuters. The Borough President also thanked the Governor for working with the local community to make sure the project proceeds smoothly. The opening of this first span marks the completion of project’s first phase. This new span will carry three lanes of traffic in each direction until a second span is completed in 2020. Once the second span is complete, the Queens-bound span will have five traffic lanes and the Brooklyn-bound span will have four traffic lanes, plus a bikeway and walkway. 
Photo Courtesy of Governor Cuomo’s Office Queens Borough President Melinda Katz attended an April 27 ceremony hosted by Governor Andrew Cuomo marking the opening of the first span of the new Kosciuszko Bridge connecting Brooklyn and Queens. Borough President Katz praised Governor Cuomo for his commitment to the replacement of the old Kosciuszko Bridge, a major infrastructure project that will bring much needed relief to New York commuters. The Borough President also thanked the Governor for working with the local community to make sure the project proceeds smoothly. The opening of this first span marks the completion of project’s first phase. This new span will carry three lanes of traffic in each direction until a second span is completed in 2020. Once the second span is complete, the Queens-bound span will have five traffic lanes and the Brooklyn-bound span will have four traffic lanes, plus a bikeway and walkway. Photo Courtesy of Governor Cuomo’s Office The Kosciuszko Bridge project replaces the existing 78-year-old bridge with two new state-of-the-art cable-stayed bridges – one Queens-bound and one Brooklyn-bound. The original Kosciuszko Bridge first opened in 1939 under President Roosevelt’s administration. Additionally, the $555 million Phase I project is the largest single contract the New York State Department of Transportation has ever undertaken – resulting in the construction of the Queens-bound bridge, which includes three lanes of traffic in each direction until the completion of Phase II. The new bridge will benefit approximately 200,000 commuters each day and has a service life of 100 years, ensuring its viability well into the future.

“New York is making unprecedented investments to revitalize our transportation infrastructure, ensuring that our roads and bridges are fully equipped to meet the needs of the 21st century traveler,” Governor Cuomo said during the April 27 announcement. “The opening of the first span of the Kosciuszko Bridge is a major milestone for New York City that will serve hundreds of thousands of commuters every day. This new bridge will ease congestion and improve our region’s transportation network while demonstrating that the Empire State continues to lead the nation in building state-of-the-art infrastructure projects that will serve New Yorkers for generations to come.”

The FY 2018 Budget supports and expands upon New York State’s historic $100 billion infrastructure program – investing in the state’s aging roads, bridges and other critical infrastructure components. This unprecedented investment is critical to strengthening and hardening the state’s outdated infrastructure, safeguarding its sustainability for years to come.

Once the project is fully completed, the Queens-bound bridge will carry five lanes of traffic and the Brooklyn-bound bridge will carry four lanes, as well as a 20-feet-wide bikeway/walkway with spectacular views of Manhattan. Shoulders will be added to both bridges, where none currently exist. The new bridge will be lower than the original by 35 feet, decreasing the incline and allowing trucks and other large vehicles to maintain consistent speeds on the bridge, helping to ease congestion.

In February, the Governor announced plans to implode two major sections of the old bridge this summer, clearing the way for Phase II of the project to begin this month – a full seven months ahead of schedule. This will move up the expected opening of the Brooklyn-bound span to early 2020, a full four years ahead of schedule.

Governor Cuomo marked the grand opening of the Kosciuszko Bridge with a spectacular light show synchronized to music on multiple iHeartRadio stations. The light show is the first performance in “The New York Harbor of Lights” that will illuminate crossings with multi-color LED light shows that will be visible for miles. The shows will transform New York’s already awe-inspiring structures into international tourist attractions, spurring additional tourism and economic activity for the region. The premiere of “The New York Harbor of Lights” will also include coordination with the lights of the Empire State Building.

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