Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that the second span of the new Kosciuszko Bridge connecting Brooklyn and Queens will open in September.
Combined with the first span, which opened in 2017, the new bridge will have nine lanes of vehicular traffic, a lane for pedestrians and bike riders, and an improved design to handle any surges in traffic.
Cuomo commended the construction crews who completed the project — the first new bridge in New York since the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge — on budget, $873 million, and four years ahead of schedule.
"This has been accelerated and accelerated and accelerated again,” he said of the construction. “We want to get it open because it’s going to make a tremendous difference on the volume of traffic."
One span will include five Queens-bound lanes, while the other span will include four Brooklyn-bound lanes and the shared pedestrian/bike lane. Both spans will also have shoulders and are expected to accommodate 200,000 vehicles a day, according to Cuomo.
The original Kosciuszko Bridge, which opened in 1939 and had only three lanes for each direction and no shoulders, was built to handle 10,000 vehicles a day.
Cuomo also noted that the new bridge will be 35 feet lower than its predecessor, which will help large trucks.
“That was a problem for trucks that had to slow down to make it up the incline,” he said. “The bottleneck was caused not just by the volume of traffic, but by the trucks slowing down because they could not make it up the incline at the old Kosciuszko Bridge.”
Cuomo did not announce a specific opening date in September, but said his office and contractors are working to launch the new bridge as close to Labor Day as possible.