Thursday, October 21, 2010

Residents Favor Fancier Options for New Kosciuszko Bridge

By Eric Yun

Queens and Brooklyn residents would prefer the new design of the Kosciuszko Bridge to look amazing and help define their neighborhoods. The state Department of Transportation (DOT) has been working to replace the bridge, which carries traffic over Newtown Creek on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, and in February held public hearings to discuss possible designs.

The DOT recently released the public feedback to the bridge designs, and the cable-stayed option received 53 of the 121 total votes. Coming in second was the through arch design with 37 votes.
The comments the DOT received about the cable-stayed bridge focused on creating an iconic image to New York City’s skyline. “We need a modern look in our city, plus it will be something you can seen from a distance,” one commenter wrote.

Another commenter wrote, “The design looks rich and complements the Newton Creek Water Pollution Control Plant digesters, which are also becoming an attraction.”

However, there are some concerns that the cable-stayed distinctive look does not outweigh potential increased costs. The DOT said all construction costs are similar and the difference is only plus or minus four percent. The cable-stayed design would require replacement cables.

The cost concerns led some residents to gravitate to the through arch design. The bridge is “elegant but a lot less expensive than cable-stayed bridge,” one commenter wrote.

Adam Levine, Director of Public Affairs for the state DOT, said no final decision has been made on the bridge’s design. The decision will likely be made later this year or early next year, and construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in 2014. The bridge should be finished in 2020.

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