New York drivers have long recognized the Kosciuszko Bridge as one of the most trafficked, insufficient and deprived bridges in the state.
The General Contractors Association has even placed it at the top of their list of the 10 worst bridges in the state. Help is on the way, though.
The state departments of Transportation (SDOT) and Environmental Conservation (DEC) are working together to replace the 75-year-old structure, which was opened in 1939.
Replacing the 1.1-mile bridge that spans Newtown Creek and connects Brooklyn and Queens is estimated to cost nearly $1.7 billion. SDOT is expected to have final approval of the project by this summer, and an anticipated completion date is sometime in 2020.
“The notice of complete application for the Kosciuszko Bridge marks an important milestone in this project,” said Lori Severino, press officer with DEC. “DEC has worked closely with SDOT to ensure this critical, regional infrastructure upgrade proceeds in a manner that is environmentally protective, transparent to neighboring environmental justice communities and timely.”
Recently, DEC granted SDOT permission for a dewatering discharge of up to 65,000 gallons of treated groundwater from Newtown Creek to free the areas in the construction site for replacing bridge piers and storm water collection infrastructure.
“The dewatering is anticipated because, in the area on the Queens side of the creek and just east of the current bridge where we’re projecting the construction of new bridge supports,” explained Adam Levine, director of press affairs with SDOT, “the groundwater table is close enough to the surface that we’ll need to remove that water in order to place the new piers and foundations.”
Levine says their plans are in line with the current safety requirements for the project and remains confident that both departments are working together to do what is best for the communities and roadways encompassed by the project.
“The water will be regularly tested to make certain it is in compliance,” Levine said. “The system is extensive, and the treated water may actually be cleaner than the water we remove from the site.”