Residents of Greenpoint had to learn of plans to dynamite parts of the Kosciuszko Bridge during construction, to make way for a new and improved bridge, through the press and they are not happy. Their concerns are legitimized, stating that they were not given prior notice of the plans before they became public and more importantly, they are concerned on the impact that the implosion will have on the neighborhood’s already polluted environment.
In order to expedite construction of the new bridge, the Brooklyn and Queens approaches of the current bridge over Newtown Creek will be dynamited. However, residents claim they had no say in the decision to proceed with this process.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams joined the community along with local officials and advocacy groups, including members of Brooklyn Community Board 1 and the Greenpoint Waterfront Association for Parks and Planning (GWAPP), to demand answers from the state. “We already have a large concern around car pollution, and we don’t want to add to this issue by having particles pushed in the air due to this implosion,” said Adams.
As a result of decades of toxic waste being dumped into Newtown Creek, the area suffers from poor air quality and high pollution levels. In 2010, the EPA deemed the polluted waterway a Superfund site and the city even pitched in $30 million of its own to install four litter-capturing apparatuses along the creek.
Though the Kosciuszko Bridge is in serious need of repair, residents are willing to jeopardize their health for it. “We need to understand the potential environmental ramifications, the impact on the neighborhood, on traffic, on small businesses. We need to know what alternatives were considered and why this approach was chosen,” declared Representative Carolyn Maloney.
Adams is hoping the state will hold a public briefing to update the community and hopes to keep the lines of communication between residents and decision makers open.