Planned Kosciusczko Bridge Implosion Worries Residents

The rusting bridge was meant to handle a fraction of the traffic that it serves today

The governor's announcement that parts of the overworked Kosciuszko Bridge will be blown up over the summer as a new span is added isn't sitting well with some residents.

Gov. Cuomo said earlier this week that the bridge, which connects Brooklyn and Queens, will get a new span in April. All traffic will then be diverted to one of those spans, and when the bridge is completed in 2020, there will be two spans, one going in each direction. 

Demolition of the old bridge will speed up the project by seven to nine months, Cuomo says. But residents are concerned about the potential health impacts. 

Eric Bruzaitis, who sits on the community board and lives in Greenpoint, says the industrial area is already dealing with poor air quality and pollution.
"We just need to be conscious about particulate matter, the potential it increases asthma," he said. 
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams joined local advocates Friday to voice concerns about the impact of blowing up the bridge. 
"Expedition should never trump safety and health quality," he said. 
State officials insist the implosion process is safer and quicker than dismantling the bridge piece by piece. 
"We are surprised that the borough president suddenly has an interest in this project considering he didn't attend a single one of the five briefing meetings or two tours that he has been invited to since he took office." 

Eric Bruzaitis, who lives in Greenpoint and sits on the local community board, says the industrial area is already dealing with poor air quality and pollution.

"We just need to be conscious about particulate matter, the potential it increases asthma," he said. 

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams joined local advocates Friday to voice concerns about the impact of blowing up the bridge. 

"Expedition should never trump safety and health quality," he said. 

State officials insist the implosion process is safer and quicker than dismantling the bridge piece by piece, and offered a sharp response to Adams.  

"We are surprised that the borough president suddenly has an interest in this project considering he didn't attend a single one of the five briefing meetings or two tours that he has been invited to since he took office." 

Others simply can't wait for the new bridge to open. Deli owner Dominick D'Amato says the traffic has been affecting his business. 

An estimated 185,000 vehicles cross the rusting, 78-year-old bridge every day. Cuomo says it was built for 10,000.

The governor said he remembers being stuck in traffic on the bridge as a kid — and his dad laying on the horn.

In addition to reducing congestion, the new bridge will have colorful LED lights that can be changed for special events.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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