That was when the time the second portion of the Kosciuszko Bridge, connecting Brooklyn and Queens officially opened.
The day before, Governor Andrew Cuomo held a ceremonial opening for the Brooklyn-bound lanes.
“I spent many many hours going back and forth on the Kosciuszko, and it is a legendary bottleneck,” the governor said. “It was narrow and it was dangerous.”
Opened in 1939, the original Kosciuszko Bridge was designed to handle 10,000 cars daily. That number has since jumped to 200,000.
Compared to the former six-lane bridge, the new Kosciuszko has nine lanes of vehicular traffic and a bike/pedestrian lane.
Project estimates say the bridge will reduce traffic by 65 percent. Construction on the bridge was completed four years ahead of schedule.
The bridge honors Tadeusz Kościuszko, a Polish man who became a general in the Revolutionary War.
“The name Kosciuszko is an honor to the Polish American people,” Cuomo said. “It reminds us that we all came from somewhere else at one time, and we all came together to make this country what it is today.”
Citing national tension over the political divide, Cuomo said the bridge is a symbol of what can be accomplished “when you focus on the positive.”
“This is New York State at her best,” he added.