Aug. 27, 2019 By Allie Griffin
The Kosciuszko Bridge will fully open to traffic early Thursday morning, just in time for rush hour traffic — and four years ahead of schedule.
The second, Brooklyn-bound span will accept vehicles the day after Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Grand Opening Ceremony tomorrow. However, pedestrians and cyclists can preview the bridge, cars-free tomorrow from noon to 6 p.m., according to the governor’s office.
“While the federal administration obsesses over building walls, in New York we are building bridges and other infrastructure critical to moving our 21st century economy forward,” Governor Cuomo said. “With the opening of the second span of the new Kosciuszko Bridge on Wednesday, we will once again demonstrate to the nation that it’s possible to take on big projects and to get them done on time and on budget.”
The two-span bridge brings drivers from Greenpoint, Brooklyn to the Sunnyside, Maspeth area in Queens and back along the Brooklyn Queens Expressway. Once completely open Thursday, it will have five Queens-bound traffic lanes and four Brooklyn-bound traffic lanes, as well as a 20-foot-wide bike and pedestrian path.
The first span of the $873 million project opened to traffic in both directions in April 2017, three years after construction began in 2014. The old bridge still standing next to the new span was demolished soon after to allow construction of the second span.
The new Kosciuszko Bridge will be the first new bridge built in the city in 55 years. Its predecessor was built in 1939 and at the time was designed to handle 10,000 vehicles, yet 200,000 vehicles driving over it every day in the 21st century meant severe traffic congestion and delays with daily bottlenecking.
With its completion, highway delays in this stretch of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway are expected to decrease by about 65 percent.