Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo will blow up the old Kosciuszko Bridge.
Cuomo announced his dynamite plans during an interview on CBS2 Tuesday. He reasoned that the demolition, planned to take place this summer, will speed up the construction of the bridge’s replacement.
“Deciding to go with the demolition will save us another seven, nine months,” Cuomo said. “Think of it from the commuter’s point of view. Every day, every hour matters. So let’s find out a way to accelerate it, get it done.”
The state Department of Transportation is currently finishing up the $550 million first phase to build a new Kosciuszko Bridge over Newtown Creek between Brooklyn and Queens.
Traffic heading in both the southbound and northbound directions will be moved from the current 78-year-old span onto half of the new bridge this April. In the following months, the state will blow up the majority of the abandoned Kosciuszko.
Typically, after a bridge is replaced, it’s dismantled piece by piece, but the governor said an implosion will allow the DOT to move forward at a much faster rate.
When completed, the New Kosciuszko Bridge will actually feature two spans, each handling one direction of traffic.
The original Kosciuszko Bridge was first built for 10,000 vehicles a day and had to be rehabilitated and updated to accommodate themore than 180,000 that use it today, according to the governor’s office.
CBS2 reports that watching the bridge crumble down will be “personal” for the governor, who had driven over the bridge many times as a child with his father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo. The new span is expected to open in 2020.