EXCLUSIVE: Kosciuszko Bridge replacement to include bike lane, walking path

EXCLUSIVE: Kosciuszko Bridge replacement to include bike lane, walking path
State Department of Transportation

Greenpointers are set to get a shiny new bike path and pedestrian walkway on one of the two spans replacing the decrepit Kosciuszko Bridge, The Brooklyn Paper has learned.

The two-way bike lane and walkway will not be finished for at least five years, but when it is, it will provide a view long available only to motorists driving over Newtown Creek on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

“It will be facing Manhattan so you’ll have a spectacular view of Manhattan,” state transportation department spokeswoman Diane Park said.

The state is set to demolish the span in 2017, when it will be 77 years old, and replace it with two suspension bridges, starting with a Queens-bound one, then beginning the Brooklyn-bound road in 2018 and wrapping work in 2020.

Take a good look: The old Kosciuszko Bridge is set to be demolished in 2017.
Photo by Jason Speakman

The bike lane has not yet been designed, nor has a contract been awarded for work on the second bridge that will hold it, so details are scant. Park did say that the path would be 20 feet wide. The bridges will also have more car lanes in both directions, the lanes will be wider, and the roadway will have less of a steep incline, Park said, as the bridge no longer needs to allow for big ships to pass beneath it. The state hopes the improvements will reduce driving delays by more than two thirds.

One Bushwick cyclist said he is looking forward to having a new way to get between the boroughs.

“Right now, you have to take sketchy industrial roads full of giant trucks to get to Queens,” James Callert said. “It will be cool to not worry about getting run over any time I want to go there.”

The neighboring Pulaski Bridge is set to get dedicated bike and pedestrian paths to alleviate the pandemonium that occurs during the warmer months on the narrow, shared path that is currently there. Construction of the paths, which are intended to replace a lane of car traffic, was supposed to have been completed by now, but work has not started. City transportation officials have declined to offer an explanation for the delay.

Brooklyn-Queens express: The new Kosciuszko Bridge will actually be two bridges, and will move the span’s footprint slightly away from the mouth of Newtown Creek. But don’t get too attached. The state says it has not finalized the design, despite the fact that it is planning to begin building in the spring.
State transportation department

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurfaro@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.