Kosciuszko Bridge Opening
This Thursday the second and final span of the Kosciuszko Bridge is opening, hopefully fixing one of the most notorious bottlenecks in the city. The bridge, a section of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE)linking Brooklyn and Queens, has been the source of traffic that often backs up the BQE for several miles in each direction. The new cable-stayed bridges – the first opened in 2017 – are supposed to improve safety and reduce congestion through wider driving lanes, the addition of shoulders and auxiliary lanes, and a flatter grade, which will make it easier for trucks to continue at the same speed.
Streetscape enhancements are going to be made in the areas surrounding the new bridge including trees, decorative lighting, a new park and cultural center under the overpass in Greenpoint, and improved waterfront access.
The first span (three lanes) will be devoted solely to Queens-bound traffic, with the second supporting five Brooklyn-bound lanes and a path for bikers and pedestrians.
The $873 million Kosciuszko Bridge is being completed four years ahead of schedule, a rarity for large infrastructure projects in the city over the past decade. However, only a few miles away the triple-cantilevered section of the expressway that supports the Brooklyn Heights Promenade is still crumbling with the DOT's original proposals to rebuild recently aborted. The Mayor's appointed “Experts Panel” has been meeting all summer and is expected to release their findings and recommendation next month.