Meet the new Kosc — different from the old Kosc

Meet the new Kosc — different from the old Kosc
Here it is, the new design for the Kosciuszko Bridge that residents want.
New York State Department of Transportation

The people have spoken, and they want a super-sleek cable-stayed structure to take the place of the tired Kosciuszko Bridge.

The state Department of Transportation gave Brooklyn and Queens a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in February to choose one of four designs for the long-awaited replacement span — an aesthetic decision in the more important process of widening the current bridge from six to nine lanes, adding a shoulder and a bike lane, and eliminating the Kosciuszko’s notorious steep incline.

The runaway choice? A sleek, cable-stayed bridge — a modern, wire-heavy take on the Brooklyn Bridge — though not for the same reasons.

“Many, many years ago, the Lenape Indians lived in this area (they were here first),” one resident said. “The cable-stayed design reminds me of an Indian dancing with his headdress of feathers on, and each cable represents one of his long feathers flowing from his costume.”

A total of 121 votes were cast: 53 for the cable-stayed design, 37 for the Bayonne Bridge knock-off crescent bridge, 13 for the dull but view-preserving box girder, and 18 for the highway-like deck arch. The state hasn’t made a final decision on the design yet, but officials promised that the community votes would serve as a “critical element of the main span selection process.”

But the department has bigger fish to fry than the aesthetics — drivers just want the city to get it done. The current bridge is constantly in gridlock, with some 160,000 daily drivers pushing forward — very slowly — at on- and off-ramps, making two impromptu lanes. The new bridge is supposed to cure all these problems.

Luckily, project manager Robert Adams has said that the $1 billion needed to finish construction — which ballooned from $700 million last year due to a longer build-out time — is already lined up through federal funding, and that the tentative completion date is in 2017.

“We have all the funding in our five- and 10-year budget plans,” Adams said earlier this year and re-confirmed in a press release this week. “We’re going to move ahead.”

The refurbished, now 60-year-old bridge would last another century and hold the same name (pronounced “coss-key-os-co”) — after Tadeusz Kosciuszko, an instrumental Polish general in the American Revolutionary War.

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