In order to meet with the residents and commuters from the surrounding neighborhoods, the state Department of Transportation has scheduled two community outreach meetings with a detailed presentation to inform and field questions about the project.
The first of two meetings will be held on Wednesday, July 9, at the Warsaw/Polish National Home at 261 Driggs Ave. in Greenpoint. The second is scheduled for Wednesday, July 16, at Sunnyside Community Services at 43-31 39th Street in Sunnyside.
“These community meetings will give the residents most affected an opportunity to learn more about the Kosciuszko Bridge project, its impact on their lives and the many benefits the new bridge will offer, including safer roadways, less congestion, faster travel speeds on this part of the BQE, new parks and open space and a pedestrian and bike path,” said Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney.
Last year, Maloney announced funding for nearly $670 million of the $800 million project, and she said now is the time to put that money to use.
“I hope everyone will take advantage of the chance to get to know the new Kosciuszko Bridge a little better as the construction starts to get underway,” she said. “The existing Kosciuszko Bridge is one of New York’s worst bridges and I am delighted that 85 percent of the total project cost has been allocated to replace this obsolete span.”
It has been more than 70 years since the 1.1-mile bridge was built to connect Brooklyn and Queens back in 1939.
A report released last year shows the bridge is ranked the eighth worst bridge owned by the state, and following the bridge’s most recent inspection in October 2012, it was issued 49 “flags” for safety issues, 21 more than in 2008.
Assemblyman Joseph Lentol said he looks forward to working with the community to begin the process of moving the project forward.
“I can’t count the number of times I have received complaints from constituents about the Kosciuszko Bridge’s state of disrepair,” Lentol said. “The news we received last year about the funding being secured through Congresswoman Maloney’s tireless work was great, and these public meetings are yet another progression towards getting this bridge completed.”