First Span of the New Kosciuszko Bridge Opens Today

Today marks the official inauguration of the first span of the new Kosciuszko Bridge in New York City, a project that we’re proud to have been part of. The $555 million development is the largest single contract the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) has ever undertaken.

The design-build contract for this span of the new bridge was assigned in May 2014 to a consortium led by four companies: Skanska, as managing partner, Ecco III of Yonkers, Kiewit of Nebraska, and HNTB of Kansas. Gedeon GRC has been providing professional consulting services relating to Construction Management and QA. The project is expected to be fully completed in early 2018 and it includes also streetscape enhancements, such as: new parks and open spaces,bike lanes, walkways and improved access to the waterfront.

Kosciuszko Bridge: Facts and Figures

  • The first bridge over Newton Creek was built in 1894 and it was known as the “Penny Bridge
  • The former Kosciuszko Bridge was built in 1939
  • Cost to build the former Kosciuszko Bridge: $ 6 M
  • Cost to build the new Kosciuszko Bridge: $ 555 M
  • Height of the new towers: 275 ft*
  • Total length of the steel strands on the main span: 188.6 miles*
  • Number of concrete girders installed on the new bridge: 154*
  • Total weight of the girders: 9,545 tons (=224 subway cars)*
  • Number of cars crossing it daily: 160,000
 *Source: NYS DOT Newsletter 

The 1.1 miles new span has been built alongside the current viaduct, and it is wide enough to accommodate traffic in both directions until the Brooklyn-bound bridge is finalized. The existing truss bridge will be completely taken down and replaced with a similar structure in the second part of the project which will begin soon after the completion of the first. The portion over water is a cable-stayed design that stands out for its bright orange cables. The new bridge is also equipped with lights that will be used for spectacular effects to illuminate the pylons in distinctive colors. There is no doubt that the new bridge, the first cable stayed in the city, will immediately become another world-famous landmark of New York.

The Kosciuszko Bridge connects the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens over Newton Creek, and it is part of Interstate 278, which is also known as the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway or BQE. Every New Yorker knows the bridge’s notorious reputation very well. For decades, its name has been unfailingly mentioned every day in the traffic news as a source of delays and frequent accidents. The new bridge is going to reduce congestion thanks to wider driving lanes, the addition of auxiliary lanes and shoulders. Its reduced grade will also make it easier for trucks to keep up to speed.

For all the residents of the New York metropolitan area, the opening of the new Kosciuszko Bridge is definitely cause of jubilation.

Here some photos from our preview visit last week.

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