You pick the new Kosciuszko Bridge design!

Meet the new Kosc — different from the old Kosc
New York State Department of Transportation

The state wants you to choose your own billion-dollar bridge!

Department of Transportation representatives publicly unveiled four design options for the long-awaited new Kosciuszko Bridge last night in Queens — and the road worriers want local input before settling on one.

It’s essentially an aesthetic question, as each design — a cable-stayed stunner, a nifty arch, an arched deck and a flat-out dull box girder design — would consist of nine lanes instead of the current six, an actual shoulder, and a bike and pedestrian lane.

Many users said that they didn’t care what it would look like, as long as it eliminates the bridge’s notorious steep incline.

“I was a trucker, and we have to take our time trying to accelerate on that steep bridge,” said Guy Russo, a regular bridge user. “Whichever design they choose will be a lot less steep, which will make the traffic flow way better.”

To vote for your pick, e-mail [email protected]

…a arched deck design…
New York State Department of Transportation

The proposed 1.1-mile bridge — which workers would start building in 2013 — ballooned in cost from $700 million to $1 billion last year due to a longer build-out time, said Robert Adams, project manager with the DOT.

And it could change again.

“This is a price tag that we project for its completion in 2017 — it could change with the cost of materials,” he said.

The four designs offer the same support and safety, with different appeal: the concrete cable-stayed bridge resembles a Modernist take on the Brooklyn Bridge; the simple, highway-like box girder would maintain a nice view of Manhattan; the crescent arch design is similar to the Bayonne Bridge; and the deck arch is basically a more stylish box girder.

Regardless of the design chosen this fall, questions at the meeting echoed one demand from drivers: get it done. The current span is constantly in gridlock, with 160,000 daily drivers pushing through at on- and off-ramps to create two slow, impromptu lanes. Adams said all these ailments will be cured.

He also dropped a small bombshell when he mentioned that all funding for the project — 80-percent of which will be covered by the federal government — is lined up.

… a Bayonne Bridge knockoff…
New York State Department of Transportation

There had been concerns last year after the Kosciuszko Bridge wasn’t mentioned in Gov. Paterson’s $25.8-billion capital package.

“We have all the funding in our five- and 10-year budget plans,” Adams said. “We’re going to move ahead.”

The refurbished, now 60-year-old bridge would last another 100 years and keep the same name — after Tadeusz Kosciuszko, an instrumental Polish general in the American Revolutionary War.

Another informational session will be held in Greenpoint on Feb. 24.

… or a dull, but view-preserving, box girder?

Kosciuszko Bridge open house at St. Cecilia’s Church [84 Herbert St. between North Henry and Monitor streets, (718) 482-4683]. Presentations are at 3:30 and 6:30 pm. For info, visit www.nysdot.gov. To vote on your favorite design, e-mail [email protected]