Would you like to have the pleasure of watching a bridge explode? Would you like to watch an eyesore disappear in front of your very eyes? Would you like to have a nightmarish, traffic-clogged mess meet a timely death to the cheers of many New Yorkers?
Add this one to your Summer 2017 bucket list.
On Tuesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo told CBS2 that the state will actually blow up significant sections of the old Kosciuszko Bridge this summer in order to speed along the process of completing the replacement.
The 78-year-old bridge — which crosses over the Newtown Creek on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway — has been in a state of decay for decades and the first phase of the project is slated for completion this Spring.
“Think of it from the commuter’s point of view. Every day matters, so let’s find out a way to get it done,” the governor said.
The first section of the new Kosciuszko — which will ultimately consist of two separate bridges to carry traffic in each direction — should be up and running in April, officials say.
And then the pyrotechnics begin. When traffic starts flowing, the state will be able to blow up the old bridge.
Officials told The New York Post that crews will detonate the approaching sections from Brooklyn and Queens and then remove the mid-section separately. They expect the explosion to save several months of work on the project.
The bridge was originally constructed to carry about 10,000 cars per day instead of the current 185,000 that snarl the area with traffic at any given hour. And the steep grade that trucks have to negotiate does not make it any easier.
The governor recalls driving across the bridge when he was a kid and watching his father — former Governor Mario Cuomo — deal with traffic headaches back then. “He would bang the steering wheel because it was always packed,” he says. “It was always annoying.”
The second bridge — which will include pedestrian and bike paths — is expected to be completed in 2020.
And for any of you who have been tongue-tied by the bridge’s pronunciation, you’ll still have to brush up on your Polish. Cuomo says the bridge will keep its name, dedicated to Tadeusz Kosciuszko (1746-1817), the Polish engineer who served the Continental Congress and helped defeat the British in 1776 during the War of Independence.
So while the 4th of July fireworks are always a summer highlight, you can get ready for more pyrotechnics this summer that will surely give New York City commuters great pleasure.
See you there. We’ll bring the popcorn.