Albany, N.Y. — New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that a design-build team has been selected to replace the eastbound Kosciuszko Bridge carrying the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (Interstate 278) over Newtown Creek between Brooklyn and Queens in New York City. The team includes construction companies Skanska, which will be managing partner; Ecco III of Yonkers; Kiewit of Nebraska; and HNTB of Kansas as the lead design firm. The $555 million project is the largest single contract the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) has ever undertaken.
"Replacing the Kosciuszko Bridge with a new span designed to last for the next 100 years means providing a stronger and more resilient transportation network for commuters throughout the New York City area for generations to come," Governor Cuomo said. "Utilizing design-build will upgrade our vital infrastructure in a way that expedites the overall project and saves taxpayer dollars. I thank the State legislature for their support of the project’s funding and look forward to its ultimate completion."
The 1.1 mile eastbound viaduct is being completely replaced, with the new span being built alongside the current bridge. The portion over water will be a cable-stayed design. The new bridge will improve safety and reduce congestion through wider driving lanes, the addition of auxiliary lanes and shoulders, and a reduced grade which will make it easier for trucks to stay up to speed. Streetscape enhancements will be made in the areas surrounding the new bridge, including new trees and decorative lighting. Other enhancements to the community include new parks and open spaces, and improved access to the waterfront.
Construction will begin later this summer with demolition of buildings to make room for the new bridge and pile driving for the bridge foundations. Construction on the foundations is expected to begin in the fall and continue through 2015, with the bulk of the new eastbound bridge being built in 2016 and demolition of the existing eastbound structure in 2017. All work is expected to be completed in early 2018. A new westbound viaduct will be built as part of a future project.
New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald said, "The aging Kosciuszko Bridge carries more than 160,000 vehicles between Brooklyn and Queens each day and is essential to local and regional commerce. I commend Governor Cuomo for his dedication to making this critical investment in our transportation infrastructure in New York City that will keep travelers safe for decades to come and will support environmental and quality of life improvements in the communities it serves."
The design-build contract for this project was modeled after the accelerated process used on the New New York Bridge project to replace the Tappan Zee Bridge. Design-build contractors submitted proposals to design and build the bridge at the same time. The design-build process, implemented by Governor Cuomo, allows for the combining of design and construction services into single contracts help expedite repair work to vital infrastructure and save taxpayer money. A Project Labor Agreement between the construction team and the New York City Building and Construction Trades Council is part of the agreement.
Funding for the project comes partially from the NYSDOT Capital Program, with $460 million from Governor Cuomo’s innovative NY Works program. NY Works is the centerpiece of Governor Cuomo’s jobs program, reinventing state economic development with an innovative new strategy to put New Yorkers back to work rebuilding the state’s infrastructure. The program is designed to create tens of thousands of jobs by coordinating comprehensive capital plans, overseeing all investment in infrastructure projects, and accelerating hundreds of critical projects across the state.