Contractors for the long-awaited Kosciuszko Bridge replacement project were announced last week – signaling the start of the 5 year project that is expected to be completed in early 2018.
A city-based construction firm, Skanska, will manage the project along with three other design and construction firms from different parts of the country.
“Replacing the Kosciuszko Bridge with a new span designed to last for the next 100 years means providing a more stronger and resilient transportation network for commuters throughout New York City area for generations to come,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo, whose NY Works program is footing $460 million of the total bill. “Utilizing design-build will upgrade our vital infrastructure in a way that expedites the overall project and saves taxpayer dollars.”
In addition to State funds, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney obtained $670 million in Federal money for the project. “A new Kosciuszko Bridge, when it’s completed, will be a boon for Brooklyn and Queens residents, improving safety, creating jobs and improving the local economy” she said.
The contracts awarded last week, the largest single project ever undertaken by the New York State Department of Transportation – at a $550 million price tag, only pertain to the construction of the eastbound bridge that transports commuters between the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens.
The current 1.1 mile eastbound stretch of the bridge will be entirely replaced by a new one that will be built adjacent to it. The new bridge will incorporate a cable-stayed design for the portion going over the Newtown Creek. The construction is expected to add much needed safety measures to the dilapidated bridge, which has been cited for being in danger of collapse. Construction will add more lanes and is expected to reduce congestion.
“The Kosciuszko Bridge carries more than 160,000 vehicles between Brooklyn and Queens each day and is essential to local and regional commerce,” said Joan McDonald, Commissioner for the New York State Department of Transportation. “[It] will keep travelers safe for decades to come and will support environmental and quality of life improvements in the community it serves.”
Construction on the foundation of the new span is expected to get underway this fall. The new bridge is expected be complete in a couple of years, with the old span being demolished in 2017, and the entire project up and running the following year – apart from the new westbound span that will be undertaken as part of a future project. The bridge in its current design is modeled on the reconstruction of the Tappan Zee Bridge.
“We know the current bridge needs replacement for the safety of New York’s drivers and for the residents of Brooklyn and Queens who live around it,” said State Assemblyman Joe Lentol. “We want the arrival to Brooklyn to be over state roads and bridges that are in good condition and modernized to handle the traffic New York has today – which is very different from when the bridge was built 75 years ago.”