Second span of Kosciuszko Bridge officially opens for motorists

Second span of Kosciuszko Bridge officially opens for motorists
Mark Hallum

Nine lanes of freedom opened for motorists Thursday morning after Gov. Andrew Cuomo held a grand opening of both spans of the Kosciuszko Bridge on Wednesday.

With the full price tag coming in at $873 million, 85 percent of the funds used were secured by Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney over the course of the last decade, the Queens representative said.

“This bridge has $670 million in federal funding … But the state executed it beautifully. We got it done and it’s gorgeous,” Maloney said. “This money was before Trump came in under the prior administration.”

The K Bridge — as Cuomo has referred to it — was completed four years ahead of schedule after the original span built during the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt was demolished in 2017 just after the eastern span was completed. The original bridge had only six lanes and no pedestrian or bike access.

This means traffic on the bridge will be reduced by 65 percent, according to Cuomo.

“Think of what that means in terms of time and in terms of preserving the environment,” Cuomo said. “We used it as an opportunity to meet with the communities and ask how we can improve the community. The community did have to suffer through years of traffic and trucks and noise and construction. The end product was worth it, but they did have to go through a difficult time.”

Underneath the bridge on the Queens side, state Department of Transportation will build a 30,000-square-foot park while the Brooklyn side will get seven acres of green space.

This story first appeared on QNS.com, one of our sister publications.

As per his tradition when opening a new bridge, Cuomo arrived on the Kosciuszko Bridge in a ’32 Packard owned by FDR.
Mark Hallum