The Kosciuszko Bridge 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. 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. Two of the bridge towers are surmounted with eagles, one is the Polish eagle, and the other the American eagle.
The bridge as seen from the upstream Queens side
Many broadcast announcers pronounce the name of the bridge as /kɒskiˈʊʃkoʊ/, and most Brooklynites render it /kɒskiˈɒskoʊ/. (The Polish pronunciation is [kɔɕˈt͡ɕuʂkɔ], with three syllables.)
Plans are underway to replace the current structure with a new nine-lane bridge, which will consist of two eastbound spans and one westbound span, and it will include a bike path and a walkway. Four designs were under consideration for the new structure, which include a cable-stayed bridge, a through arch bridge, a box girder bridge and a deck arch bridge, with the cable-stayed design selected after a public review process. Construction is expected to begin in 2013.
The bridge can be seen in the background of the funeral scene near the end of The Godfather. The bridge is also referenced in a Polish joke in Tony Kushner's play Angels in America in part one, Millennium Approaches, in which a homeless woman says, "Why was the Kosciuszko Bridge named after a Polack? [...] 'Cause it was supposed to have been a tunnel."
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