Kosciuszko Bridge (New York City)

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For the twin bridges carrying Interstate 87 over the Mohawk river, see Thaddeus Kosciusko Bridge.
Kosciuszko Bridge
The bridge as seen from the upstream Queens side
Carries I-278 (Brooklyn-Queens Expressway)
Crosses Newtown Creek
Locale Brooklyn and Queens, New York City
Maintained by New York State Department of Transportation
Design truss bridge
Total length 6,021 feet (1,835 m)
Longest span 300 feet (91 m)
Clearance below 125 feet (38 m)
Opened 1939
Daily traffic 181,783 (2008)[1]
Preceded by Greenpoint Avenue Bridge
Followed by Grand Street Bridge
Coordinates 40°43′40″N 73°55′45″W / 40.72777°N 73.92920°W / 40.72777; -73.92920Coordinates: 40°43′40″N 73°55′45″W / 40.72777°N 73.92920°W / 40.72777; -73.92920

The Kosciuszko Bridge /ˌkɒziˈɒsk, ˌkɒʒiˈɒʃk/[2] is a truss bridge that spans Newtown Creek between the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, connecting Greenpoint, Brooklyn and Maspeth, Queens. It is a part of Interstate 278, which is also locally known as the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway or BQE. The bridge opened in 1939, replacing the Penny Bridge from Meeker Avenue in Brooklyn to Review Avenue and Laurel Hill Boulevard, and is the only bridge over Newtown Creek that is not a drawbridge. It was named in honor of Tadeusz Kościuszko, a Polish volunteer who was a General in the American Revolutionary War.[3] Two of the bridge towers are surmounted with eagles, one is the Polish eagle and the other the American eagle.[4]


Plans are underway to replace the current structure with a new nine-lane bridge, which will consist of two eastbound spans, one westbound span, a bike path, and a walkway.[5] Four designs were considered for the new structure: a cable-stayed bridge, a through arch bridge, a box girder bridge, and a deck arch bridge.[6] The cable-stayed bridge design selected after a public review process will make the replacement bridge the first of its type in New York City since the Brooklyn Bridge (which has a hybrid suspension/cable-stayed design). Construction was originally expected to begin in 2013[7] but will now begin in winter 2014. About 140 trees were removed on both sides of the bridge in April 2014 in preparation for the rebuilding, though officials say twice the number of trees will be replanted once the bridge's reconstruction is complete.[8]

On May 23, 2014, a $554,770,000 design-build contract was awarded to a team consisting of Skanska, which will be managing partner, Ecco III of Yonkers; Kiewit Corporation of Nebraska; and HNTB of Kansas as the lead design firm. It is the largest single contract ever awarded by the New York State Department of Transportation. The work will involve building a new eastbound viaduct to be completed in 2016. The existing eastbound structure will then be demolished. The westbound viaduct will be replaced in a future project.[9] The extra lanes are being built since the Kosciuszko Bridge is known as a notorious traffic bottleneck; according to The New York Times, it is "perhaps the city’s most notorious [bridge], hated and feared by drivers and synonymous in traffic reports with bottlenecks, stop-and-go and general delay."[6]


  1. ^ "New York City Bridge Traffic Volumes 2008" (PDF). New York City Department of Transportation. March 2010. p. 97. Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  2. ^ Kosciuszko Bridge Project Open House, Introduction on YouTube
  3. ^ Mooney, Jake (February 13, 2009). "Plans and Wary Neighbors for an Icon of Gridlock". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-08-15. 
  4. ^ Rafferty, Brian (April 5, 2007). "Bridge Plan Up For Public Approval". Queens Tribune. Retrieved 2010-02-19. [dead link]
  5. ^ Angelos, James (April 10, 2009). "Uneasily Contemplating the Arrival of a Spiffy Newcomer". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-06-29. 
  6. ^ a b Newman, Andy (February 18, 2010). "A Tired Old Bridge Gets a New Look. No, Four of Them.". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-09-20. 
  7. ^ Chinese, Vera (April 25, 2012). "Construction on new Kosciuszko Bridge to begin in 2013, a year ahead of schedule". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2012-04-25. 
  8. ^ Furfaro, Danielle (2014-04-03). "DOT chopped 53 trees to save Northern long-eared bat Kosciuszko Bridge pain • The Brooklyn Paper". Brooklynpaper.com. Retrieved 2014-04-14. 
  9. ^ https://www.dot.ny.gov/kbridge

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