And just like that, the old Kosciuszko Bridge is gone.
Earlier this morning, Governor Andrew Cuomo, along with city and state officials, finally commenced with the demolition of the steel truss bridge that’s connected Brooklyn and Queens since 1939. A few lucky New Yorkers were also able to see the implosion up close, thanks to a lottery held by the Governor’s office.
“The Kosciuszko Bridge had to be replaced,” Cuomo said before the implosion. “I think there’s been traffic on that bridge and a bottleneck since the day it was built.”
The old, derided Kosciuszko Bridge has been slated for demolition for years, and its main span was removed earlier this year—in much less exciting fashion, by dismantling it and lowering it onto a barge on the Newtown Creek.
Today’s event was technically called an “energetic felling”—not an explosion, and not an implosion, as Cuomo noted in remarks (making fun of the term) before the bridge came down. The two ends of the bridge, in Brooklyn and Queens, were taken down using 900 explosions, with the steel that once eventually be scrapped and recycled.
The first of two new spans of the Kosciuszko Bridge opened this spring, with Cuomo inaugurating it by riding a 1932 Packard that was owned by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt across its span. It currently carries traffic both ways, and will continue to do so until the second span—due to serve Brooklyn-bound traffic—is completed in 2020.
But we know what you’re here for: the explosion. The Governor’s office captured drone footage of the big bang, which you can see below: