K-Bridge Final Four

It is down to the final four!

State Department of Transportation (DOT) officials revealed the four designs that made the cut for the future Kosciuszko Bridge Wednesday afternoon, to the enthusiasm of more than two dozen community stakeholders who studied them with the intensity of an “American Idol” judge.

The proposed designs, which include a Box Girder made from steel or concrete, a Deck Arch made from concrete, a Through Arch made from steel, and a Cable-Stayed bridge made from steel and concrete, were put on display at an open house held at St. Cecilia’s Auditorium (24 North Henry Street) with animated video installations showing different views and angles of each design in the foreground of the Manhattan skyline.

The designs come after nearly one year of community stakeholder meetings, including an extensive environmental review process for the site surrounding the bridge, which connects Greenpoint to Maspeth as part of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

While the designs are considerably different, DOT officials insist that the calendar for construction will be the same for each design. The bridge design phase is expected to begin in 2010, with complete right-of-way property acquisitions to occur in 2013 and bridge construction set to begin in 2014.

In the short term, stakeholders must narrow down their choices to their favorite design, and that is just what community members did this week. After a short presentation made by state DOT engineers, residents filled out a sheet detailing their favorite rendering as well as providing public comments on the design.

Brooklyn resident Bernard Ente raised safety concerns about the flight path to nearby airports that could be obscured on a foggy night.

He favored a Thru Arch, yet Greenpoint resident Laura Hofmann pointed to the Cable-Stayed design, which resembles Boston’s Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge, as her favorite.

“I like the design because it looks rich. I just like the view that was proposed,” said Hofmann.