Thanks very very much for posting all of the pictures and for the posts too.
Thanks very very much for posting all of the pictures and for the posts too.
[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.
Technology Marketing Corp. 1997-2008 Copyright.
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.
Kosciuszko rehab gets green light
BY Joe Kemp
November 3rd 2009
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.
Yay.The eastbound portion will also have a bikeway and walkway.
The B.Q. Three
DOT winnows options to replace Kosciuszko Bridge
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.
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.
The Billion Dollar Bridge
Last edited by Merry; November 7th, 2009 at 02:59 AM. Reason: Added link
maybe it's just me, but i think all 3 of the above designs look terrible.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I like #3 because it's the most unique compared to anything else in the city and entire metro area.
The closest major cable-stayed bridge to the metro area is probably the Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge 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.