Greenpointers blow up over Kosciuszko Bridge demolition

Left out: Mike and Laura Hoffman were angry they found out the news about the bridge explosions from the news.
Community News Group / Lauren Gill

He blew it!

Gov. Cuomo should’ve consulted with local residents and pols about his plans to blow up the old Kosciuszko Bridge instead of announcing it via a television interview last week, they said at a press conference on Friday, and demanded state reps meet with them to assuage their fears that the demolition will pollute Greenpoint’s air.

“I was really angry,” said Laura Hoffman, who has been on a local advisory committee for the bridge project alongside husband Michael for 13 years. “Up until now it’s been a great working relationship … so it came as quite a big shock that the governor came on TV and said that the bridge was being imploded.”

The state needs to get rid of the old 1930s incarnation of the Kosciuszko to make way for the second of two replacement spans, and Cuomo boasted in an interview on CBS2 on Tuesday that he’ll do that as quickly as possible this summer by blowing it up.

Actually, it’ll be more of an implosion, and only the approaches on the Greenpoint and Queens sides will be detonated — the central span will be lowered into a barge and sailed off into the sunset, officials later clarified.

It is supposed to be a series of “small, surgical explosions,” not a big bang with smoke, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D–Greenpoint) told the crowd — still, she said, state reps should’ve met with locals and told them that first.

“If a significant explosion is being made, the community should be consulted first,” she said.

Greenpoint has long been the city’s pollution punching bag — the Newtown Creek is full of oil and poop, waste-transfer stations line the streets, and much of the soil is still soaked with toxic waste from the neighborhood’s industrial past — and locals say they want to ensure the demolition isn’t going to make things any dirtier.

“Making sure the air quality is there for us, for our kids is so important,” said Williamsburg Democratic district leader Tommy Torres, who also runs a Little League in the area.

A rep for Cuomo responded by insisting that implosion is the “safest” way to get rid of the spans.

The state had planned on telling locals about the plan at the next community meeting, said spokesman Jon Weinstein — although he couldn’t give a date for that.

The rest of the state’s response was a swipe at Borough President Adams for organizing the press conference — you can read about that here.

Taking a stand: Borough President Adams demanded the state meet with the community about its plans to blow up the old Kosciuszko bridge.
Community News Group / Lauren Gill

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