The state Department of Transportation unveiled four potential designs last week for the reconstruction of the Kosciuszko Bridge, which connects Brooklyn to Maspeth, and the project’s manager said work at the site could begin by 2014.
The project will entail building a new structure on the bridge’s eastbound side that will include nine lanes of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. The existing bridge’s six lanes will continue to fully operate until the new structure, which will be 30 feet lower, is in place, said Robert Adams, the project’s manager.
“There will be no detours or diversions of traffic to local streets,” he said.
The existing bridge, which first opened in 1939, will be demolished after the eastbound side of the new structure is completed.
The DOT mapped out four conceptual plans for the new Kosciuszko Bridge to western Queens residents at Middle Village’s Christ the King Regional High School last week.
The proposed designs are a steel or concrete box girder structure, a concrete deck arch, a steel arch with suspender ropes or a cable-stayed structure. The DOT is expected to select one of the four options for the new bridge later this year.
Criteria for the proposal that will be chosen include construction and maintenance costs, safety, visual aesthetics and the duration of the project, Adams said.
An environmental review process for the reconstruction was completed last year following tests for groundwater contamination near the site and asbestos surveys as well as soil drilling and sampling.
The upgrade, which is expected to begin in four years, will also include benefit and relocation packages for the eight or nine businesses that will be affected by the new construction.
The state is in talks with the city Parks Department to convert the land on the Maspeth side of the bridge into new parks and playgrounds as well as developing a launch site for kayaks at Newtown Creek.
The DOT is currently hosting open house events and collecting public information before making its decision on which structure will replace the existing bridge.
The federal government is funding an estimated 80 percent of the project, while the state is picking up the other 20 percent.
Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4566.
©2010 Community News Group
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