GREENPOINT, Brooklyn — The last of the old Kosciuszko Bridge was demolished on Sunday in an implosion.
The remainder of the 78-year-old bridge came down Sunday at 8 a.m. as part of a $873 million project to reconstruct the Kosciuszko Bridge. Traffic on the new portion of the Kosciuszko Bridge was to be closed from 7:45 to 8:15 a.m.
The old bridge’s main span over Newtown Creek was removed in July. The last sections of the Kosciuszko Bridge will be taken down using a method called “energetic felling.”
“The energetic felling of the approach spans of the former Kosciuszko Bridge marks another milestone in the construction of the first major new bridge in New York City in more than fifty years and is one more sign that New York State is building a brighter future,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement.
Cuomo’s office said the remaining 20 trusses, estimated to weigh 22 million pounds, will be recycled as scrap metal.
“Kosciuszko as many New Yorkers call it, has been a bottleneck for many, many years — all my life. We started a replacement for it. The one new span is up and is now operational. The bridge will have two spans when it’s finished and they’re about to begin work on the second span. To start the second span they need to take the old bridge down. The fastest most economical way to do it is to remove the middle portion and now they have the two ends, if you will. And it’s basically an implosion,” Cuomo said on NY1 Saturday, in comments released by his office.
“They call it an energetic felling. I guess they don’t like to use the word implosion. But they’ve been preparing for it for months and it’s going to happen tomorrow morning – 900 charges have been laid. Bridge struts have been cut. It will land on the ground on both sides, the Queens side and the Brooklyn side, but it saves us a lot of time and money.”
The Kosciusko Bridge, commonly referred to as twin bridges, is a pair of identical bridges that spans Newtown Creek connecting Brooklyn and Queens. The first of the two bridges planned to replace the old Kosciuszko Bridge made its debut in April.
“The new Kosciuszko Bridge is a triumph, showing the world that New York is meeting big challenges and getting things done, rejuvenating our transportation infrastructure and supporting economic growth,” Cuomo said in a statement.
Once construction of the second span is completed, there will be one bridge for traffic going in each direction.
The Kosciuszko Bridge opened in 1939. The new bridge is expected to be used by up to 200,000 commuters per day.