Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday that the first span of the new Kosciuszko Bridge will be open in both directions for motorists on Thursday. The Brooklyn-Queens connector — the first New York City bridge constructed in 53 years — will serve 200,000 commuters daily, according to the governor.
“The new bridge . . . will bring much-needed relief to commuters and be a spectacular addition to the New York City skyline,” he said in a statement.
Once completed, the new Kosciuszko Bridge will have two side-by-side spans. The span opening Thursday will initially carry three lanes of vehicular traffic in each direction. It will be coverted to five lanes of Queens-bound vehicular traffic when the second span opens.
The second span, slated to open in 2020, will have four lanes for Brooklyn-bound car and truck traffic, and a 20-foot lane for pedestrians and cyclists.
Both bridges will include shoulders and a lowered incline that will help trucks maintain consistent speeds.
The state will celebrate Thursday’s opening with a light show on the bridge that will coordinate with music playing on iHeartRadio stations. LED lights, which are visible for miles, will be in sync with lights on the Empire State Building.
The state plans on bringing the show, “The New York Harbor of Lights” to other city bridges and tunnels including the RFK Triborough Bridge and Brooklyn Battery Tunnel.
Cuomo is slated to implode the old Kosciuszko Bridge, which was built in 1939, so that work can commence on the second phase of the new bridge.