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Edward
September 24th, 2003, 12:27 AM
The Kosciuszko Bridge (http://www.wirednewyork.com/bridges/kosciuszko_bridge/)

The Kosciuszko Bridge carries the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway over Newtown Creek from Maspeth to Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and connects to the Long Island Expressway on the Queens side. More than 170,000 vehicles are using it daily.


The view of Kosciuszko Bridge (http://www.wirednewyork.com/bridges/kosciuszko_bridge/) from the Calvary Cemetery in Queens.

http://www.wirednewyork.com/bridges/kosciuszko_bridge/kosciuszko_bridge_calvary_9feb03.jpg (http://www.wirednewyork.com/bridges/kosciuszko_bridge/)



The view of the Kosciuszko Bridge (http://www.wirednewyork.com/bridges/kosciuszko_bridge/) from the Grand Street Bridge.

http://www.wirednewyork.com/bridges/kosciuszko_bridge/kosciuszko_bridge_23feb02.jpg (http://www.wirednewyork.com/bridges/kosciuszko_bridge/)

Kris
September 24th, 2003, 12:33 AM
It might be replaced, which would be too bad.

ZippyTheChimp
November 29th, 2003, 12:16 PM
The Kosciusko Bridge Poject is moving through the EIS process. There were originally 26 (26!) alternatives, which included two low spans over the creek, one a fixed span which would include filling in the creek.

The number of options has been reduced to 12. Both low bridge plans have been eliminated, and one tunnel option remains.

DOT Kosciusko Project (http://www.dot.state.ny.us/reg/r11/kosciuszko/alternatives.html)

Kris
February 12th, 2005, 11:05 PM
February 13, 2005

NEWTOWN CREEK

Plans and Wary Neighbors for an Icon of Gridlock

By JAKE MOONEY

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/dropcap/t.gifhaddeus Kosciuszko, a native Pole who came to America in 1776, befriended Thomas Jefferson and fought for the colonies in the Revolutionary War, distinguished himself in his adopted homeland as an engineer. Nevertheless, for most New York City commuters and drive-time radio listeners, Kosciuszko's name signals one thing: gridlock.

His namesake, the Kosciuszko Bridge, has spanned Newtown Creek, between Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and West Maspeth, Queens, since 1939, and recent years have not been kind. The bridge, with its narrow, shoulderless lanes and its steep arch designed to accommodate high-masted ships, has devolved into a perpetual traffic bottleneck for the 170,000 drivers who cross it on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway every day.

But the State Department of Transportation, aided by a committee of local representatives and neighborhood members, is working on a solution that it hopes would make Kosciuszko (pronounced ka-SHUSH-ko or ka-SHUSH-ka) proud.

The agency has been studying an overhaul of the bridge since 2002, and construction would likely not start until 2009, but discussions are at a critical juncture: some 30 proposals have been narrowed to five, which involve either adding lanes on a parallel span or tearing down the existing bridge and starting over.

Teresa Toro, who lives in Greenpoint and represents the Tri-State Transportation Campaign on the steering committee, says more neighbors should get involved, since the project may drastically affect the area.

"Depending on the alternative, it could be taking over a business, it could be closing a street," Ms. Toro said. "The whole bridge is really badly designed, so it's going to require a significant overhaul." Much of the area is industrial, but there are swaths of two-, three- and four-family houses nearby, particularly on the Brooklyn side.

Mary Gottlieb, a committee member whose house on Meeker Avenue has been in her family since 1918, said the talks with officials were going smoothly, but added: "Under no circumstances are we going to let even one of our homes be taken for this project. Traffic is very important, but I'm sorry to tell you this: Communities are more important."

For its part, the Transportation Department is concerned with improving traffic flow and keeping trucks off nearby residential streets, said Lisa Kuhner, a spokeswoman. Whichever option is chosen, work could include adding shoulders, expanding entrance ramps and lowering the bridge's 125-foot height.

One thing about the overhaul is certain, Ms. Kuhner said: Whatever happens, Kosciuszko's name will remain.

Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

phxmania2001
February 13th, 2005, 12:02 AM
Nice bridge. Now if only people could pronounce his name...

knickerbocker G
February 23rd, 2005, 12:05 AM
You get one of the best view of Manhattan and Calvary cementary while
driving on it.

october1013
February 5th, 2006, 03:31 PM
The Kosciuszko Bridge was the best wrong turn we have ever made in our lives!! We're in love!

Punzie
April 6th, 2007, 06:33 PM
Bridge Plan Up For Public Approval

By BRIAN RAFFERTY
The Queens Tribune
April 5, 2007



The State Department of Transportation will hold two public meetings this month to discuss the update plans for the renovation or replacement of the Kosciusko Bridge, which spans Newtown Creek, connecting Queens with Brooklyn.

For the last four years the DOT and the Federal Highway Administration have studied a range of 26 plans that ran the gamut from doing nothing to widening the existing bridge to rebuilding and even replacing the whole thing with a tunnel.

This week the agencies released the Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the plan, and have narrowed the field to six choices: the first is a no-build option, which would require major work to be done in six years; the next two plans would each widen the existing bridge, take just under four years, cost $559 million or $515 million, and add a total of three lanes of traffic; and the final three options would replace the bridge entirely, take five to six years to complete, cost between $630 million and $712 million and also add three lanes of traffic.

The Department of Transportation has pulled out all the stops with the Kosciusko Bridge project. The aging bridge – a six-lane, 1.1- mile, tightly-packed overpass that joins the B and Q on the BQE – has been plagued with maintenance problems for years and badly needs to be replaced or repaired, according to transportation officials.

Opened in 1939, the bridge was named after Taduesz Kosciusko, a Polish general in the American Revolutionary War. The two bridge towers are mounted with eagles, one a Polish Eagle and the other an American Eagle.

Officials began a public scoping process in 2002, meeting with local officials and residents to determine the important social, economic and environmental considerations involved in the project.

A final EIS will then be issued later in the year, shortly after which the DOT will announce which proposal it ultimately selected.

No actual construction will begin on the project until 2011, according to the DOT Web site. In the interim period, the agency is conducting a $12 million rehabilitation of the bridges superstructure and deck.

The public hearings are scheduled for Thursday, April 19, at the Polish National Home, 261 Driggs Ave. in Greenpoint, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The Queens public hearing will be held Thursday, April 26, at the DeVry Institute of Technology, 30-20 Thomson Ave., Room 301, in Long Island City from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The open house will begin at 10 a.m.

Copies of the plan are available online at www.nysdot.gov (http://www.nysdot.gov), and are also available in the Maspeth and Sunnyside branches of the Queens Library, the Queens Borough President’s office and the offices of Community Boards 2 and 5.

http://www.queenstribune.com/news/1175812140.html



NYSDOT Kosciusko Bridge Project website:
https://www.nysdot.gov/portal/page/portal/regional-offices/region11/projects/kosciuszko-bridge-project/kosciuszko-iframe

TREPYE
April 7th, 2007, 01:11 AM
This plan to renovate should include a pedestrian promenade of some sort because it has bar-none the best north-south east views of NYC. You can see all of NYC's skyline components; Brooklyn's downtown and Williamsburg savings bank tower, the east river bridges, Downtown, part of the Jersey City skyline, Midtown, UES, Uptown and the Budding Queens skyline. Just incredible views.

antinimby
April 7th, 2007, 01:53 AM
^ That's one of the reasons why I think they should just repair it instead doing some, devoid of character modern replacement or worst, a dumb tunnel.

Just look at the pictures by Edward above. Imagine how less interesting that scene would be without the bridge.

ZippyTheChimp
April 7th, 2007, 07:45 AM
This plan to renovate should include a pedestrian promenade of some sort because it has bar-none the best north-south east views of NYC.


^ That's one of the reasons why I think they should just repair it instead doing some, devoid of character modern replacement or worst, a dumb tunnel.
There is no tunnel option.
All options except the no-build and RA-6 include a pedestrian walkway.

RA-5 Rehabilitation with new parallel bridge on eastbound side (https://www.nysdot.gov/portal/page/portal/regional-offices/region11/projects/project-repository/kosciuszko/pdf/ra5_staging.pdf)

BR-2: Bridge Replacement with Permanent Eastbound Bridge and Temporary Westbound Bridge (https://www.nysdot.gov/portal/page/portal/regional-offices/region11/projects/project-repository/kosciuszko/pdf/br2_staging.pdf)

BR-3: Bridge Replacement with Permanent Bridges on Both Eastbound and Westbound Sides (https://www.nysdot.gov/portal/page/portal/regional-offices/region11/projects/project-repository/kosciuszko/pdf/br3_staging.pdf)

BR-5: Bridge Replacement with Permanent Bridge on Eastbound Side (https://www.nysdot.gov/portal/page/portal/regional-offices/region11/projects/project-repository/kosciuszko/pdf/br5_staging.pdf)

CMANDALA
April 7th, 2007, 09:06 AM
Image on Newtown Creek Alliance home page

http://www.newtowncreekalliance.org/DSCF6872%20copy%202.jpg

TREPYE
April 7th, 2007, 10:20 AM
Image on Newtown Creek Alliance home page

http://www.newtowncreekalliance.org/DSCF6872%20copy%202.jpg


And that is just one quarter of the whole view! ;)

brianac
March 20th, 2008, 07:31 AM
The end nears for Kosciuszko Bridge

BY JOHN LAUINGER
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Thursday, March 20th 2008, 4:00 AM

http://www.nydailynews.com/img/2008/03/20/amd_bridge.jpg Tracy for News
Traffic on the Kosciuszko

A state agency has lifted a puzzling bureaucratic roadblock that significantly delayed a long-awaited plan to replace the traffic-choked Kosciuszko Bridge (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Kosciuszko+Bridge).
The Historic Preservation Office last week abandoned its push to preserve the deteriorating bridge, thus ending an inter-agency squabble that delayed final approval of the project by at least six months, the Daily News confirmed Wednesday.

The state Transportation Department had originally anticipated receiving federal authorization for the roughly $700 million project - the final regulatory hurdle - by the end of last year.

However, as The News first reported last month, the DOT was forced to shelve the project last November after Historic Preservation objected to final design plans that call for the Kosciuszko to be demolished and replaced by two new parallel bridges.

Preservation officials deemed the aging span "a significant and unusual variation of the Warren truss type bridge" and argued that a rehab was "a prudent and feasible alternative to demolition," according to a letter obtained by The News.

In response, DOT officials presented Historic Preservation with a report justifying replacement of the 1939 bridge, which carries the Brooklyn (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Brooklyn)-Queens (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Queens+County) Expressway over Newtown Creek between Maspeth (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Maspeth), Queens, and Greenpoint (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Greenpoint), Brooklyn.

The report addressed safety concerns, such as its steep grade and substandard merging lanes - factors responsible for bottlenecked traffic and a high accident rate, according to the DOT.

In a written response on Friday, Historic Preservation officials threw in the towel.

"We concur that there are no prudent and feasible alternatives to the demolition of this historic bridge," an official wrote. "We find that correction of many of the substandard safety features would significantly alter character-defining features of the bridge."

DOT spokesman Adam Levine (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Adam+Levine) said final design plans will be published in May, triggering a 30-day public comment period and a decision on final authorization, expected from the federal government in midsummer.

Those with a stake in the project called the hangup pointless.
"We had an unnecessary delay in this project," said Christine Holowacz (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Christine+Holowacz), co-chairwoman of the Greenpoint Waterfront Association for Parks and Planning (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Greenpoint+Waterfront+Association+for+Parks+and+Pl anning).
George Kosser (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/George+Kosser), vice president of Karp Associates, a Maspeth company whose plant will be acquired through eminent domain to make way for the project, said the holdup left him in limbo - and blocked him from negotiating for new sites for the business.

"It kept the sword hanging in midair without giving me the date when it is going to drop," Kosser said.

jlauinger@nydailynews.com (jlauinger@nydailynews.com)

Copyright 2008 The New York Daily News.

brianac
April 11th, 2009, 05:56 AM
Uneasily Contemplating the Arrival of a Spiffy Newcomer

By JAMES ANGELOS
Published: April 10, 2009

THE industrial slivers of northern Brooklyn and western Queens that sit in the shadow of the Kosciuszko Bridge are, to most New Yorkers, forsaken territory.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2009/04/12/nyregion/12bridge2.190.jpg Joshua Bright for The New York Times
A welder at Karp Associates, a company that will move to make way for a redo of the Kosciuszko Bridge.

But on these hinterlands near the Kosciuszko, the aging bridge that connects Greenpoint, Brooklyn, to Maspeth, Queens, along the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway over Newtown Creek, is a thriving commercial ecosystem. It is inhabited by freight trucks that come and go, a scrap metal yard, wholesale distributors of flowers and Bangladeshi foods and a factory that produces steel doors.

Several of the businesses there will soon have to move to make way for the new Kosciuszko Bridge. Last month, after years of planning and delays, the Federal Highway Administration signed off on a final design to replace the six-lane bridge. The new nine-lane bridge will consist of two eastbound spans and one westbound span, and it will include a bike path and a walkway. Construction is planned to begin in 2013.

Given the Kosciuszko’s worn condition, plans to redo the bridge have generally been greeted as good news. The narrow span, built in 1939, has difficulty carrying the expressway’s unrelenting traffic, and frequent bottlenecks occur. Even so, many business owners are nervous about the future.

“Surviving the move, that’s all we’re worried about,” said George Kosser, vice president for operations at Karp Associates, which manufactures small steel doors that are fitted within building walls to allow access to internal plumbing or electrical wiring. The factory, which employs nearly 100 people, has sat almost directly underneath the Kosciuszko on the Maspeth side for a little more than half a century.

“We are the Cadillac of access doors,” Mr. Kosser said.

Karp will be forced off its property by the government’s use of eminent domain, and the company expects to receive an offer from the state for its land and equipment within the next few weeks. The price should be “fair enough,” said Mr. Kosser, to allow Karp to open a new factory nearby before it must close the doors of the existing one.

Among the few homes in the path of the new bridge is a dark blue house occupied by Tes Choudri, his wife, Sylvia, and their 4-year-old son, Toren. Mr. Choudri’s two sisters and parents live in two houses next door, and all are awaiting offers on the properties.

Mr. Choudri, a 44-year-old accountant, remembers a time more than a decade ago when the area had more homes and far fewer businesses.

“We are the last of the Mohicans,” he said. But he, too, recognized the need for the new bridge, adding that he often hears the bridge groaning when trucks cross.

“That bridge is making a lot of noises it wasn’t making before,” he said.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/12/nyregion/thecity/12brid.html?ref=thecity

Copyright 2009 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

TREPYE
April 11th, 2009, 07:45 PM
The new nine-lane bridge will consist of two eastbound spans and one westbound span, and it will include a bike path and a walkway. Construction is planned to begin in 2013.
Copyright 2009 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)


Wonderful news! Now Pedestrians and Bikeriders can enjoy the best north south skyline views of the greater NYC area.

Bronxbombers
April 12th, 2009, 01:52 AM
Thanks very very much for posting all of the pictures and for the posts too.

brianac
April 16th, 2009, 06:04 PM
[April 10, 2009]

Notice of Final Federal Actions on the Kosciuszko Bridge (Interstate 278) Over Newtown Creek, Kings and Queens Counties, NY


SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Notice is hereby given that the FHWA, and other Federal agencies have taken their final agency actions subject to 23 U.S.C. 139(l)(1) by issuing licenses, permits, and approvals for the following highway project in the State of New York: The Kosciuszko Bridge (Interstate 278) over Newtown Creek, Kings and Queens Counties.

The preferred environmental alternative replaces the existing bridge, building a new permanent, parallel bridge on the eastbound (Queens-bound) side of the existing bridge. The new bridge will be built at a lower elevation to allow for reduced grades. When completed, the Kosciuszko Bridge will include auxiliary lanes in both directions, carrying five lanes of eastbound traffic and four lanes of westbound traffic, and have standard lane widths and shoulders. The new bridge will also include a bikeway/walkway on the north side of the bridge.

The selected alternative provides superior safety, operational, and structural improvements compared with the other build alternatives, while minimizing adverse social, economic, and environmental impacts to the extent practicable.

The new bridge will be constructed at a lower elevation, decreasing the vertical clearance over Newtown Creek from 38 m (125'-0") to approximately 27 m (88'-6"), to improve traffic safety and operations on the bridge by decreasing the steep roadway grades. The reduced grades will significantly improve the vertical stopping sight distance on the main span of the bridge, meeting the current interstate highway standard.

As described in the Final EIS, constructing the new bridge 11 m (36 ft) lower than the existing bridge will not impede maritime traffic on the creek. The project will also include the construction of a new bikeway/walkway on the north side of the westbound (Brooklyn-bound) structure and substantial increases in both the quality and quantity of parkland (with both active and passive recreation features) in the project area, between four and five times over existing park space. Other mitigation measures include streetscaping enhancements along all streets to be reconstructed as part of the project, including new tree plantings, reconstructed sidewalks, new street lighting, improved crosswalks, and better pedestrian sightlines. In addition, boat launches for small, non-motorized boats on each side of Newtown Creek will be provided.

COMPLETE ARTICLE (http://green.tmcnet.com/news/2009/04/10/4122828.htm)

Technology Marketing Corp. 1997-2008 Copyright.

Merry
October 27th, 2009, 05:08 AM
Guv Woes? No! K-Bridge A Go-Go.

By Aaron Short

Kosciuszko Bridge plans are moving forward.

Less than two days after Governor David Paterson announced that the state may not have enough money to pay for bridge repairs, state Department of Transportation (DOT) officials rebuffed the suggestion, moving forward with the design phase of the new 1.1 mile bridge that will connect Brooklyn to Queens.

Earlier this week, Paterson indicated that the estimated $403.9 million for repairs to the bridge span would be too costly for the state to afford, after the state DOT released its five-year capital plan earlier this month. On October 15, Paterson released his own two-year $5 billion Deficit Reduction Plan.

“During a time of uncommon difficulty, we need to work together for the common good and enact a consensus plan that helps us avoid the severe consequences faced by other states that failed to swiftly address their budget problems,” said Paterson. “This will mean hard and painful choices, but that is exactly the type of leadership New Yorkers deserve from their public officials.”

At a Kosciuszko Bridge Stakeholders Advisory Committee meeting on October 22 at Hunters Point Plaza in Queens, state transportation officials reassured community members that planning and construction would go on as scheduled and is expected to be completed by 2017, replacing the old bridge.

“This project is 80 percent funded by the federal government,” said DOT spokesperson Adam Levine, who noted the project was at the beginning of the design phase. “We are under no indication that this project will be delayed and we have every expectation that it will proceed in four years on schedule.”

Built in 1939, the Kosciuszko Bridge is part of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, connecting Greenpoint, Brooklyn and Long Island City, Queens.

After the collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis, then-Governor Eliot Spitzer ordered every bridge in New York to be inspected. The Kosciuszko Bridge was found to be structurally sound but in need of maintenance. Two years later, the General Contractors Association rated bridges throughout New York City and found that the Kosciuszko Bridge was in the poorest condition of any elevated bridge in the five boroughs.

“We are out there on a regular basis, more than we would like,” said Leivne. “We don’t want to come back fixing pavement, replacing steel, and making other repairs.”

As if to demonstrate their confidence in the project, state transportation engineers unveiled six sample designs for the new Kosciuszko Bridge for members of the Stakeholders Advisory Council (SAC) to choose from. The designs for the new main span ranged in elevation and style, from a simple box girder design to a steel crescent arch reminiscent of the Bayonne Bridge, to a long-span cable-stayed bridge.

Community members who attended the SAC meeting brushed off the Governor’s budget warnings and chose their favorite designs. The top choice a short-span cable-stayed bridge that resembled Boston’s Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge, followed by a concrete deck arch and a thru arch design.

“I like this one,” said SAC member Christine Holowacz, referring to the short-span design. “This is something more interesting, finally.”
State DOT officials will hold another public meeting in January 2010 featuring the committee’s top three bridge choices and cost estimates for each design.

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/brooklyn/guv_woes_no_bridge_go_go_OMd5f7zxxkU5sPOpZ2ZzZP

Merry
November 3rd, 2009, 06:10 AM
Kosciuszko rehab gets green light

BY Joe Kemp

November 3rd 2009

http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2009/11/03/alg_kosciuszko.jpg

The state is moving forward with the project to replace the Kosciuszko Bridge.

Despite a red light in funding from the governor early this month, the state is moving forward with the much-anticipated project to replace the Kosciuszko Bridge, officials said.

The state Department of Transportation will be forced to make a number of budget cuts after Gov. Paterson deemed its five-year capital program too expensive, but plans to replace the 70-year-old span will not be halted, an agency spokesman said.

The $25.8 billion capital package allocated $403.9 million for the first construction phase of the new Kosciuszko Bridge, with 80% paid for by the feds.

"There are ramifications on our program, but we're not seeing any immediate effect on this project," said Adam Levine, spokesman for the state Transportation Department.

The deteriorating bridge that carries the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway over Newtown Creek was the first on the General Contractors Association's Top 10 list of state-owned bridges in the city in need of repair.

Because of the poor condition rating, funding of the bridge replacement takes precedence over the many other projects listed in the capital program, Levine said.

"The region has the ability to prioritize," he said, adding that construction on other roadways would be delayed with the budget cuts.

The project, which got the green light from the Federal Highway Administration earlier this year, remains on schedule to begin in fiscal year 2013-14, Levine said.

The feds will put up 80% of the estimated $1.7 billion it will cost to erect the new bridge.

The state DOT held a meeting for stakeholders on Oct. 20 to vote on eight design plans presented by PB Americas Inc.

From that vote, the top three were selected for further development by a team of architects, and the results will be presented at a public open house currently expected to be held in January, Levine said.

In all the design plans, the height of the span is significantly reduced, lessening the incline so as to avoid slowing truck traffic from the on-ramps.

The new Kosciuszko Bridge will also include shoulders and a total of nine traffic lanes - five eastbound and four westbound. The eastbound portion will also have a bikeway and walkway.

Though residential land has been acquired for the project, negotiations are still ongoing for a number of commercial properties and will continue through the end of next year, Levine said.

"We never opposed the project," said George Kosser, the president of Karp Associates Inc., one of the businesses that will have to move to make way for the new span.

"We're not happy, but we're fully understanding," Kosser said.

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/queens/2009/11/03/2009-11-03_kosciuszko_rehab_gets_green_light.html#ixzz0VnG dhG3M

ZippyTheChimp
November 3rd, 2009, 07:29 AM
The eastbound portion will also have a bikeway and walkway.Yay.

Merry
November 7th, 2009, 02:20 AM
The B.Q. Three

DOT winnows options to replace Kosciuszko Bridge

http://www.archpaper.com/uploads/image/Koscnewtown.JPG.jpg
The Kosciuszko Bridge, built in 1939 across Newtown Creek on the border of Brooklyn and Queens, will soon be replaced.


Plans are afoot to replace a stretch of roadway that Jonathan Lethem, in his 1999 novel Motherless Brooklyn, called the worst surface in the five boroughs.

http://www.archpaper.com/uploads/throughArch.jpg (http://www.archpaper.com/uploads/throughArch.jpg)

http://www.archpaper.com/uploads/ConcreteArch.jpg (http://www.archpaper.com/uploads/ConcreteArch.jpg)

http://www.archpaper.com/uploads/CableStay.jpg (http://www.archpaper.com/uploads/CableStay.jpg)
Of eight bridges, the community selected the through arch, concrete deck arch, And short-span cable stay proposals. (Click to enlarge.)

On October 22, the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) met with community stakeholders to review eight designs to replace the Kosciuszko Bridge, which connects Brooklyn and Queens over Newtown Creek. As part of Interstate 278—better known as the Brooklyn Queens Expressway—the 1939 steel truss span has been a cause of concern ever since Governor Spitzer ordered inspections of all New York State crossings following the 2007 collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis.

While that study only recommended repair of the aging span, the DOT determined that replacement was the best solution, citing cost and the opportunity to increase traffic safety as the primary reasons. The bridge also topped the General Contractors Association’s list of the most decrepit state-owned bridges in the city. At 120 feet high, the existing deck was constructed to accommodate the large naval vessels that once traveled Newtown Creek, a usage now obsolete. This allowed designers to modify the span to eliminate a variety of trouble points.

“We’re going to lower the roadway 35 to 40 feet, so trucks won’t have to accelerate and decelerate so much when crossing,” said DOT spokesperson Adam Levine. “We’re also going to revise the ramps between the bridge and the Long Island Expressway, so there won’t be the same kind of merges and weaves that cause a lot of accidents. Couple that with the fact that we have to go out to do targeted repairs fairly often just to keep the span in relative good repair, and replacement is clearly the best option.”

Produced by DOT design consultant PB Americas, the eight replacement options ran the scale from a plain vanilla steel box arch, as seen in typical elevated highway crossings, to a cable-stayed solution resembling many of today’s high-design spans. Locals from Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and Long Island City, Queens, were asked to winnow the list down to three designs based upon which they found most visually appealing. They chose the concrete deck arch, through arch, and short-span cable stay proposals. In the next step, PB Americas will develop the three designs further, producing more renderings and 3-D animations for the next stakeholders’ meeting in January.

In its $25.8 billion, five-year capital plan released last month, the DOT allocated $403.9 million to the Kosciuszko Bridge replacement—a figure that Governor Paterson said was too high for the state’s budget to cover. Nonetheless, the agency is moving ahead with design development, and expects construction to begin in four years. Earlier this year, the Federal Highway Administration, which will pay 80 percent of the estimated total project cost of $1.7 billion, approved the project. If all goes according to the DOT’s current projections, completion could happen as soon as 2017.

Aaron Seward

http://www.archpaper.com/e-board_rev.asp?News_ID=4031

The Billion Dollar Bridge (http://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/32/45/32_45_wy_koski.html)

Taz
November 7th, 2009, 03:23 AM
maybe it's just me, but i think all 3 of the above designs look terrible.

Merry
November 7th, 2009, 04:48 AM
They're certainly completely different to the existing bridge.

I think the second design is pretty ordinary, the first not too bad, and the third the better of the three.

Whatever it ends up looking like, it'd better be good for all that mind boggling money.

lofter1
November 7th, 2009, 09:46 AM
I'll take Number Two. Why? The arching support beneath the roadway leaves an open view of the skyline beyond.

From the driver's perspective Number Three would probably be the most interesting.

antinimby
November 7th, 2009, 01:47 PM
I pick the first one, the arch.

It is the best of the three for several reasons: the Kosciuszko bridge should look like a bridge and so that eliminates option number two (the concrete deck arch one) because that just looks like any stretch of elevated roadway.

The suspension one, while looking the most sophisticated and interesting, only really works for larger bridges spanning larger bodies of water. The Newtown Creek isn't it.

That narrows it down to number one for me.

MidtownGuy
November 7th, 2009, 03:33 PM
In my opinion, it's number 3.
Number two isn't "bridgey" enough and number one is just boring...as a photographer I wouldn't bother going to see it.

Number three is attractive and complements the skyline well with it's two pylons. I'd go with my camera to get it at different angles with the skyline, ESB behind it...it would look great.

BrooklynRider
November 8th, 2009, 12:44 AM
I like #2. Keep it simple. Keep the view unobstructed (this is one of the premiere viewpoints of the New york skyline). I also think that the less structure above the roadway will mean the less likelihood of lane closures for painting and maintenance on cables, arches or towers. The bridge is being lowered anyway, so it need not be grand.

So far, all of the renovation / modernization work on the BQE has been very well thought out. The bridge is the only round-the-clock bottle neck.

Once this is completed, they can develop a vision and plan for th section of the BQE cut below grade through Cobbe Hill / Carroll Gardens / Red Hook. That is another nasty driving experience.

NYatKNIGHT
November 9th, 2009, 11:03 AM
I like #3 because it's the most unique compared to anything else in the city and entire metro area.

ZippyTheChimp
November 9th, 2009, 11:30 AM
#3.

The closest major cable-stayed bridge to the metro area is probably the Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:The_Leonard_P._Zakim_Bunker_Hill_Bridge.JPG) in Boston. The others I can think of are the Penobscot Narrows in Maine, and the still under construction Indian River Inlet Bridge in Delaware.

There are two minor cable-stayed bridges in Manhattan.

brianac
February 19th, 2010, 03:29 AM
Part of todays article. The design alternatives have been posted before.


February 18, 2010, 7:37 pm
A Tired Old Bridge Gets a New Look. No, Four of Them.

By ANDY NEWMAN (http://wirednewyork.com/author/andy-newman/)
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2010/02/18/nyregion/18bridge2-cityroom/18bridge2-cityroom-blogSpan.jpg
Bridge option 3: box girder design.

For a public work named after a champion of liberty, the Kosciuszko Bridge has taken its share of prisoners over the years.

The bridge, the hyphen in the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, connecting the two boroughs as it soars 128 feet above the oily murk of Newtown Creek, is perhaps the city’s most notorious span, hated and feared by drivers and synonymous in traffic reports with bottlenecks, stop-and-go and general delay. Last year, it topped a construction-industry group’s list of the most decrepit elevated roadways (http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/item_ArwMgNBNd9LG85OEX8WYYN) in the city.

That was the old Kosciuszko Bridge. On Thursday, the state Department of Transportation had a coming-out party for the new bridge – or bridges.

Four renderings, presented at a public meeting at a Christ the King High School in Queens and reproduced here, offer drivers a range of aesthetic options, from the grimly or primly utilitarian to the relatively fanciful.

COMPLETE ARTICLE (http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/18/a-tired-old-bridge-gets-a-new-look-no-four-of-them/)

Copyright 2010 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

ablarc
February 19th, 2010, 07:10 AM
Four renderings, presented at a public meeting ...
No. 2 and No.1 are both nice.

Merry
February 19th, 2010, 08:51 PM
Test Drive the New Kosciuszko!

By ANDY NEWMAN

(see blog entry (http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/19/test-drive-the-new-kosciuzsko/) for video)

In addition to releasing four proposed designs (http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/18/a-tired-old-bridge-gets-a-new-look-no-four-of-them/) for a replacement for the crumbling Kosciuszko Bridge, the State Department of Transportation’s (http://www.nysdot.gov/index) Division of Video Games and Special Effects (we made that up) has produced driver’s-eye-view simulations of trips across each version of the bridge (we didn’t make that up).

Here’s the virtual tour of the cable-stayed design alternative for the bridge. Be patient — the actual driving part doesn’t start until about 1 minute 30 seconds in. Please maintain a safe following distance from the car in front of you at all times.

The department is taking public input and comment on these designs for an indefinite period, and as we mentioned, you can give the bureaucrats your feedback at the bridge’s official Web site (https://www.nysdot.gov/regional-offices/region11/projects/kosciuszko-bridge-project) and by e-mail (kosciuszko@dot.state.ny.us).

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/19/test-drive-the-new-kosciuzsko/

dtolman
February 23rd, 2010, 11:59 AM
Are there structural reasons why 1,2, or 4 (the prettier bridges) would be a better choice?

Seems #3, though boring as all hell, would be the simplest (and hopefully fastest/cheapest) to construct.

ForestHillsGardens
February 23rd, 2010, 11:24 PM
I definitely feel the current Kosciuszko Bridge is really deteriorating, the bridge definitely cannot handle a Catergory 3 hurricane and 5.0 Magnitude Earthquake. While not worrying and worrying about the current bridge, I have to review the new finalist designs.

Design 1 & 2 is my favorite, overall Design 1 is my overall choice.

Design 1 looks a lot like Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge in Boston, MA, Design 1 have the bold, strong and modern look not carried in other bridges around the City of New York, while also makes a unique landscape just east of the developing areas of the Broroughs of Queens & Brooklyn.

Design 2 looks a lot like the Old Kosciuszko Bridge in NYC, NY (not to be confused with the one above the NYS Capital) while having a very strong support and striking design. Design 2 have the ease of design while carrying a bold statement, also refreshing and carry a more modern landscape just east of the developing areas of the Boroughs of Queens & Brooklyn.

Design 3 & 4 looks lame and I don't really like, while both are ideal designs for cost cutting measures.

Design 3 looks like the bridge traveled by the I-495 nearby, while it could make the Manhattan Skyline more clear and seeable and make a simple in design statement.

Design 4 looks like Design 3 but the designer tried to make it look nicer and more 21st Century but failed at somepoint, it is still my choice comparing Design 3 & 4.

Merry
February 25th, 2010, 06:29 AM
Different spins on the new span: Public gets chance to pick design for Kosciuszko Bridge

BY Leigh Remizowski

The aging Kosciuszko Bridge isn't about to win any fans - be they motorists or architects - but a new incarnation may finally earn it some kudos.

The state Transportation Department kicked off a series of open houses last week to collect public comment on the four possible designs for the long-awaited structure, which carries the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway over Newtown Creek.

"I'm looking for the dramatic," said Jessame Hannus, 39, of Rego Park. Her top choice was the "cable-stayed" design, which has cables fanning out from the peaks of two tall towers.

"I'm a cyclist so I'm always looking for a vista, or a view," she said. "This could be a tourist attraction."

All four designs have nine lanes of traffic and a two-way bike lane on the west side of the bridge.

The other three designs are a "box girder," with no structures higher than the road; a "deck arch," featuring a truncated arch under the roadway; and a "through arch," where a full arch rises above the deck.

The Transportation Department added the box girder option to the three chosen in October by project stakeholders.

"It's one of the simpler bridge types," said project manager Steve Bennett.

Lillian Cyran, 85, who uses the bridge several times a week when she travels from her home in Maspeth to New Jersey or to visit family in Brooklyn, favored the through arch.

"It looks prettier and more stable," she said. "I like an archway and I think it would be stronger than the cables."

The project price tag is roughly $1 billion, give or take 4% depending on the design, agency officials said, though it was unclear which option would cost more.

The maintenance cost will also vary, depending on the design.

Maspeth resident Walter Szulecki, 77, went to the open house wondering about how the bridge would affect his commute.

"I want to know that the old one will stay up while the new one is being built," he said. "With so many cars on that road, it's not going to be easy."

Project manager Robert Adams said not to worry. "There will be no detours, and no diversions to local streets," he said.

Construction will not begin until 2014. Before then, a design will be selected and finalized and all land-acquisition deals must be completed, Adams said.

"We're still going through the lengthy process of trying to secure a deal that we deem fair," said Adam Gold, president of Karp Associates, one of the businesses that must move to make way for the bridge.

"We were promised a couple of years to transition and the clock is kind of ticking," said Gold, who did not attend the open house.

"All the designs are certainly better than what's there," Gold said. "What it means is the project is moving forward. But how quickly it's going to move is the question."

The next open house is tomorrow at 3 p.m. at St. Cecelia's Church, 84 Herbert St., Greenpoint, Brooklyn.


http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/queens/2010/02/24/2010-02-24_different_spins_on_the_new_span_public_gets_cha nce_to_pick_design_for_kosciuszko.html#ixzz0gXv0zT CR

ZippyTheChimp
February 25th, 2010, 08:06 AM
Two of them look like a bridge. The others like an overpass.

Hof
March 3rd, 2010, 02:25 PM
The first bridge shown on Merry's post #22-- the through-arch structure-- closely resembles the new triple-arch bridge ( the "Frederick Douglass/ Susan B Anthony Memorial Bridge" )that carries I-490 over the Genesee River just South of Downtown Rochester.

Rochester residents have praised the design, and it has won several awards for its asthetics. It is an attractive addition to downtown Rochester and appears to be on its way to becoming a signature for the city.

( BTW--The Genesee River is one of only 5 major rivers in the USA that flows Northward)

Bob
March 3rd, 2010, 10:44 PM
I vote for the box girder design. Simple. Probably the cheapest of the bunch. I see no need for a signature bridge at this location.

Now, if someone would like to dismantle the Bayonne Bridge and move it to THIS location, that would be clever. After all, if London Bridge can be dismantled, shipped across the Atlantic Ocean and rebuilt in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, certainly the Bayonne Bridge can be shipped from the Kill van Kull to this new location.

jjester
July 23rd, 2010, 12:48 PM
Hi I was wondering if anyone knew of an accident on the Kosciuszko brindge back in 1977. My mom died in the accident and I have been trying to find out some info. anyone with any info e-mail me @ bgbadtrk@yahoo.com - thanks

Derek2k3
August 24th, 2010, 07:27 AM
http://www.archpaper.com/uploads/ConcreteArch.jpg

This is a bridge in Taiwan.
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4079/4915580850_644bc281ce_b.jpg
300217louis (http://www.flickr.com/photos/43561950@N02/4915580850/sizes/l/in/pool-35034350743@N01/)


http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4138/4914967749_161af95013_b.jpg
300217louis (http://www.flickr.com/photos/43561950@N02/4915580850/sizes/l/in/pool-35034350743@N01/)

asg
August 30th, 2010, 11:03 PM
The first bridge shown on Merry's post #22-- the through-arch structure-- closely resembles the new triple-arch bridge ( the "Frederick Douglass/ Susan B Anthony Memorial Bridge" )that carries I-490 over the Genesee River just South of Downtown Rochester.

Rochester residents have praised the design, and it has won several awards for its asthetics. It is an attractive addition to downtown Rochester and appears to be on its way to becoming a signature for the city.

( BTW--The Genesee River is one of only 5 major rivers in the USA that flows Northward)

^
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v651/asg9000/Rochester_01.jpg

Nexis4Jersey
August 31st, 2010, 09:52 PM
The the underside Arch would fit the location the best. Cable Stayed is best for wider channels , i beleave all the New Staten Island Crossings will be Cable Stayed.

Derek2k3
October 11th, 2010, 07:41 PM
So it seems this design won:


http://www.observer.com/2010/real-estate/new-york-gets-its-first-21st-century-bridge

http://www.archpaper.com/uploads/CableStay.jpg
NY Observer
New York Gets Its First 21st Century Bridge

By Matt Chaban
October 11, 2010 | 3:35 p.m

Ever since the collapse of the I-35 bridge in Minneapolis, cities across the country have been warily reevaluating their roadway infrastructure. In New York, some of our bridges earned failing grades. The Brooklyn Bridge was among them and is currently being repaired. Others are in better shape, but not by much. Among them is the Kosciuzko Bridge, which carries the Brooklyn Queens Expressway over Newtown Creek from one borough to the other.

Last week, the state Department of Transportation announced it had selected a new bridge to replace the old Kosciuzko. The steel truss span is one of the steepest bridges in the city and carries 160,000 drivers per day. Last fall, the state unveiled three designs for the new bridge, including standard concrete deck arch and through arch proposals as well as a more modern cable-stayed model.

As a sign of New Yorkers' growing design savvy, the latter won out, with almost half the public voting for it. Construction is expected to begin on the new $1 billion bridge later this year, with a completion date set for 2017.

Forgetmenot
May 17th, 2011, 09:29 PM
Does anyone know what section of Calvery Cemetery is near the Kosciuzko Bridge? My Dad was buried there in 1939 & I'm trying to find some information on the whereabouts of the grave.
thank you

GordonGecko
May 18th, 2011, 04:26 PM
The Kosciuzko bridge is completely baffling to me. It's like any other roadway (maybe in worst condition that others) yet for some inexplicable reason drivers freak out as they approach and slow to a crawl. There's no logical reason for the congestion there on a daily basis. I see it all the time, cars slow down for no good reason and start a herd mentality then before you know it the BQE is backed up for miles

ZippyTheChimp
May 18th, 2011, 05:22 PM
Simple reason northbound.

When the exit lane to the LIE is slow, a lot of people who want to exit will ride the faster left lane, trying to figure out a good time to move right. Before the bridge, much of the on-ramp traffic doesn't want to exit to the LIE, and moves left to stay on the BQE. Add trucks to the mix, especially when they have to break hard to avoid slamming into someone who cuts in front of them, and they have to run through several gears to get up hill.

This maneuvering slows everything down.

There are lots of places where this happens.

Don't know about southbound though. It always seems faster to me.

GordonGecko
May 18th, 2011, 10:52 PM
That definitely happens northbound, but there's also the inexplicable slowing too when there are no cars in front of them. Southbound is just as bad and without the LIE exit ramps

GordonGecko
November 2nd, 2012, 12:04 AM
So the midtown tunnel flooded with 8 million gallons of water. The source was an overflowing Newtown Creek during hurricane Sandy. IMO this is just another reason to fill in that cesspool already and get rid of the permanent traffic jam that is the Kosciuszko Bridge

Ninjahedge
November 5th, 2012, 12:24 PM
Water does not just appear out of nowhere.

You get rid of the creek, you have to find some way to get that water from where it starts to where it needs to go......

GordonGecko
November 5th, 2012, 03:27 PM
yeah, like everywhere else in NYC - sewers

Nexis4Jersey
November 5th, 2012, 06:36 PM
If you get rid of the creek which would be expensive then it would be the East River , should we plug that aswell?

GordonGecko
November 5th, 2012, 10:00 PM
The east river likely would not have made it to the mouth of the midtown tunnel in this storm if newtown creek did not exist. As for the cost of filling it in, I wouldn't be surprised if the superfund cleanup project is going to be more expensive. I'm all for public waterways but this toxic cesspool and surrounding industrial sites are not worth the colossal effort needed to properly rehabilitate

lofter1
November 6th, 2012, 12:01 AM
Whether you fill it in or rehabilitate it as a waterway, the poisonous sludge has to be removed either way. If you simply bury it then the heavy metals will leach through the soil.

You can't just pretend it doesn't exist and push it off to future generations to deal with.

Merry
February 9th, 2013, 12:50 AM
Kosciuszko Bridge Renovation Could Unearth Native American Artifacts

By Jeanmarie Evelly

http://assets.dnainfo.com/generated/photo/2012/07/1343608323.jpg/image640x480.jpg

http://assets.dnainfo.com/generated/photo/2013/02/nys-dot-newtown-creek-13601713068445.jpg/image640x480.jpg

This map indicates areas within the Kosciuszko Bridge Project identified by the New York State Department of Transportation as being "archeologically sensitive" for pre-historic resources, characterized as the period of Native American habitation prior to European contact. The red blocks identify areas rated as having high archeological potential, the yellow blocks as having moderate potential.

http://assets.dnainfo.com/generated/photo/2012/10/newtown-creek-view-13505050463787.jpg/image640x480.jpg

The planned construction of a new Kosciuszko Bridge (https://www.dot.ny.gov/kbridge)along the banks of Newtown Creek (http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/places/newtown-creek) could stir up more than just pollutants in the waterway, a designated Superfund site (http://www.epa.gov/region2/superfund/npl/newtowncreek/) that separates Queens from Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Historians say the area around Newtown Creek was once home to a Native American tribe called the Mespeatches, where the neighborhood Maspeth got its name, before it was settled by Dutch and English colonists in the 1600s — making it ripe with the possibility of archeological findings.

"The area is very, very rich in potential archeological artifacts," said Bob Singleton, executive director of the Greater Astoria Historical Society. "There have been a number of archeological digs throughout the years along Newtown Creek."

Ralph Solecki,a former Columbia University faculty member and archeologist known for his excavations at the Shanidar Cave in Iraq, conducted digs along Newtown Creek when he was just in high school. During one excavation in 1935, he and others uncovered the hearth of a 17th century settler's home.

"We came up with the remains of a burned-out house in a sandy bank, and it was a fireplace in which we found a number of pipe stems identified 1640," Solecki recalled.

Starting in the 1800s, Newtown Creek became one of the most heavily used industrial waterways in the region, according to the state (http://www.epa.gov/region2/superfund/npl/newtowncreek/), and it has seen countless oil spills in the decades since. It was declared a national Superfund site in 2010.

The State Department of Transportation will begin work this fall on the construction of a new Kosciuszko Bridge, and will be excavating areas along the Queens side of the creek near the Long Island Rail Road tracks, south of Calvary Cemetery between Long Island City and Maspeth.

The $511 million project — the centerpiece of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's jobs program — has been pushed ahead 18 months.

Ground water uncovered during the excavation will be treated with an extensive filtering system to remove contaminants before being returned to the creek, according to the DOT.

At a public hearing last week to discuss the plans, a representative for Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan asked DOT officials if they had prepared for the possibility of uncovering artifacts during excavation.

"We're well aware of that issue," said project manager Robert Adams, adding that the DOT and the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) is working on refining an existing plan to identify and monitor the areas that have the most archeological potential.

According to a draft of the plan, SHPO considers area around the creek to be "archeologically sensitive" for prehistoric sites — defined as when the land was inhabited by Native Americans, prior to European contact — because of its "proximity to water, topography that features high ground overlooking wetlands, the presence of abundant food resources, and the area’s known use by Native Americans at contact."

But the plan states that the large amount of human activity along Newtown Creek over the years greatly lessens the chance of uncovering intact artifacts.

"This area has been degraded, filled, built upon, so it's unlikely that you're going to find a whole lot of original material," Adams said at the hearing.

Still, the possibility is there, said Christina Wilkinson, president of the Newtown Historical Society.

"I absolutely do think it's a possibility," she said. "Things are uncovered all the time in New York City, believe it or not."


Within and along the creek, she said, one possible discovery could be mounds of oyster shells that Native American tribes used for currency.

Singleton said items from other eras could be uncovered as well. Some of the earliest European settlements were based along Newtown Creek in the 1600s and 1700s. On the Brooklyn side, an area called "Pottery Beach" was known for its rich clay soil and is considered by some historians as the birthplace of American pottery.

"You can find all kinds of things like clay pipes, vessels, pottery that was made, stuff like that," Singleton said.

Folklore also held that William "Captain" Kidd (http://www.captainkidd.org/), a Scottish sailor and notorious pirate in the 1600s, stashed his treasure somewhere near the creek — a story that sent generations of neighborhood children digging for the precious loot, Singleton said.

"The area is probably one of the richest archeological sites in New York City," he said. "I'm not saying that they will find anything, but there is a very strong possibility, and every effort should be made to ensure that if something is, the proper techniques are applied."

A draft of plans outlined on the state DOT's website states that archeologists will inspect the project areas prior to construction, and that archeological monitoring will be conducted in regions "designated as moderate to high sensitivity for intact archeological resources."

According to maps included in the draft, a large swath of the affected area is considered to have moderate archeological potential, while two Queens blocks are considered as having high potential for prehistoric findings: near 43rd Street between 55th Avenue and 54th Drive and between 54th Avenue and 54th Road.

The project's prospective construction contractor will be expected to plan for delays that could result from archeological monitoring, according to the DOT.

"The plan will then be included in the Request for Proposals so that prospective bidders will be aware of their responsibilities before they place their bids," DOT spokesman Adam Levine said in an e-mail.

Historic discoveries have been made at New York City construction sites before. In 2010, workers at the World Trade Center site uncovered part of an 18th-century ship (http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20100715/financial-district-battery-park-city/world-trade-center-workers-unearth-part-of-18th-century-ship#ixzz2K1oIijnj) that had been undisturbed for more than 200 years.

Wilkinson, of the Newtown Historical Society, said she and other historians would be excited if a similar discovery was made along Newtown Creek.

"My fingers are crossed," she said.

http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20130207/long-island-city/kosciuszko-bridge-renovation-could-unearth-native-american-artifacts

Merry
July 9th, 2013, 07:27 AM
No competition for DUMBO, in name or appeal.


A Look at What’s Under the Kosciuszko Bridge
by Mitch Waxman

http://queens.brownstoner.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/bsQ_dukbo_001.jpg

A confession first: I’m likely the only person on earth who calls this spot DUKBO — short for “down under the Kosciuszko Bridge onramp.”

Laurel Hill Boulevard slouches roughly as it descends toward Review Avenue, where the Penny Bridge once stood and the Long Island Railroad once maintained a station and the Roman Catholic funeral ferries docked. The Kosciuszko Bridge (http://newtownpentacle.com/2012/05/07/hideous-meaning/) occupies the shallow valley between two land forms which the colonial settlers of Newtown called “Laurel Hill” to the west and an easterly elevation once known as “Berlin Hill.” Berlin was a village which was absorbed into Maspeth during the First World War when living or doing business in a place called Berlin was a sticky situation.

http://queens.brownstoner.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/bsQ_dukbo_002.jpg

Lonely and desolate, DUKBO is a hinterland not too far from the geographic center of the megalopolis called New York City, and this must be one of the least walked stretches of pavement in the entire metropolitan zone. It’s where the Alsops, Brutnells, and Wandells (http://newtownpentacle.com/2013/01/25/licensed-guide/) chose to locate their farming operations in the Colonial era and just up the hill from where a few hundred British soldiers were garrisoned during the Revolutionary War.

http://queens.brownstoner.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/bsQ_dukbo_003.jpg

To the west lies Calvary, First Calvary, where Archbishop Dagger John (http://newtownpentacle.com/2010/07/18/the-house-of-dagger-john/) Hughes consecrated the soil of Protestant Newtown for the use of the Roman Catholic Church as a cemetery. The elevation of Laurel Hill is quite apparent here: The nine-story General Electric Vehicle Company (http://newtownpentacle.com/2011/09/20/uncommented-masonry/) factory’s roofline is at eye level, and it is found at Borden Avenue and Starr, only a few blocks away.

The hill was once a bit higher, but the construction of the cemetery in the 19th century removed a few hundred million tons of topsoil from it (this was the subject of a lawsuit in state court, wherein the farmers of Newtown sued the Catholic Church, as the topsoil was shipped to Jamaica, Queens, for use on the Catholic plantations there).

http://queens.brownstoner.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/bsQ_dukbo_004.jpg

Sidewalks are either nonexistent, shattered, or impassable on Laurel Hill Boulevard, so a turn onto 54th Avenue carries you under the bridge. This decaying structure is scheduled to be replaced with a modern bridge, designed to overcome many of the flaws exhibited by this 1939 era Meeker Avenue Bridge – renamed the Kosciuszko Bridge in 1940.

http://queens.brownstoner.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/bsQ_dukbo_005.jpg

There are plenty of holes in the fence lines big enough to squeeze a camera lens through as you pass under the structure, but one should never trespass around properties that adjoin the Newtown Creek lest your reality get a bit grittier than you might be comfortable with. Especially do not trespass around transportation infrastructure, as the NYPD is rather touchy about this. In the shot above, you can actually see the dramatic corrosion which has compelled the Governor to “fast track” the replacement of the bridge, which is on the State’s list of deficient bridges.

http://queens.brownstoner.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/bsQ_dukbo_006.jpg

Were you to turn left off of 54th Avenue, you’d encounter the cloverleaf onramps which form the intersection of the Long Island Expressway and the Brooklyn Queens Expressway; 43rd Street heads south toward Newtown Creek at a considerably angled declination. This stretch of 43rd Street will someday be the new DUKBO, and easement purchases for the new bridge have already caused nearby homes (http://newtownpentacle.com/2012/03/30/inner-horrors/) and business buildings to shutter and be demolished. The State DOT (https://www.dot.ny.gov/content/delivery/region11/projects/X72977-Home/X72977-Repository/chapter%204_b3jtok_feis.pdf) has announced that the replacement bridge will sit a bit to the east of the 1939 model.

http://queens.brownstoner.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/bsQ_dukbo_007.jpg

The Maespetche who lived here were mostly wiped out by smallpox by the 1700s, and by that time the Dutch had already established an agricultural community. The English arrived, often overland from Eastern Long Island, and mocked the Dutch whom they saw as old fashioned and bound by odd customs and religious practices. The English had plenty of controversies themselves, with the “Friends” cult showing up time and again from New England via the Long Island Sound, witch panics, and all sorts of odd religious experimentation by commoner and courtier alike going on.

All that sort of nonsense and jumping about ended in the early 1800′s, when an industrial boom got started here in DUKBO. General Chemical came in the 1840s, and joined with the distilleries and fat renderers and acid factories already present to participate in what we would call “the second industrial revolution.” Things really kicked into gear when the Long Island Railroad laid down track in the 1860s and 70s. Pictured above is the former home of Phelps Dodge at the corner of 43rd and 56th Road; General Chemical became Phelps Dodge over the course of a century. At its apex, this industrial site employed 17,500 people and squatted along some 36 square acres of the creeklands. The tallest chimneys in the United State (at the time) stabbed up from here, painting the sky with poison effluvium whose pH content was sufficient to cause the marble and granite monuments at Calvary Cemetery to melt like ice cream — the subject of yet another lawsuit.

http://queens.brownstoner.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/bsQ_dukbo_008.jpg

The Kosciuszko Bridge leaves DUKBO in Queens and swings out over Newtown Creek toward DUKBO in Greenpoint. It carries something like 200,000 vehicle crossings a day between Brooklyn and Queens, it’s 1.1 miles long (including its approaches), and looms some 150 feet over Newtown Creek. The reason it’s so high is that oceangoing ships (http://iarchives.nysed.gov/PubImageWeb/viewImageData.jsp?id=152746) used to come all the way back here, some 2.1 miles from the East River.

http://queens.brownstoner.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/bsQ_dukbo_009.jpg

In 1939, during the Great Depression, one of the most powerful men in New York City was Robert Moses (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Moses). Moses had a project he was keen on, which he called the Brooklyn Queens Connecting Highway.

The New Meeker Avenue Bridge opened on August 23, 1939. It was the first link in a chain that eventually became the Brooklyn Queens Expressway (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brooklyn-Queens_Expressway). It promised easy egress to the 1939 World’s Fair (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1939_World%27s_Fair) in what we now call Flushing Meadows Corona Park, and was a showpiece project for the Great Builder.

American Bridge Company and Bethlehem Steel worked on it, along with dozens of other contractors. The Big K was part of what was known as the Regional Plan, which also provided the pretext for the erection of the Triborough, Whitestone, Marine Parkway and a slew of other bridges across the archipelago.

For more on the $517,000,000 New York State DOT Kosciuszko Bridge project, click here (https://www.dot.ny.gov/kbridge), or just wait a couple of months until construction begins.

http://queens.brownstoner.com/2013/07/down-under-the-kosciuszko-bridge-onramp-dukbo/

GordonGecko
July 9th, 2013, 08:01 AM
What an absolutely curious article. It presumes to discuss what's under the bridge, yet no mention of the tow pound housed under it serving 2 million queens residents??

http://i40.tinypic.com/33krv36.jpg

http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/html/towed_vehicles/tow_pounds.shtml

EastMillinocket
October 17th, 2015, 11:16 PM
New York YIMBY strikes again...

http://newyorkyimby.com/2015/10/the-new-kosciuszko-bridge-appears-on-the-skyline.html

GordonGecko
October 18th, 2015, 02:56 PM
This won't help much, the problem isn't the bridge itself. The problem is the sharp turn and ramp up with a ramp down and other turn. Marine traffic needs to be closed to have a lower span and the approach needs to be re-engineered