It was all smiles and laughter on Thursday, April 27, as Governor Andrew Cuomo, along with elected officials from Brooklyn and Queens, hosted a grand ceremony to debut the new Kosciuszko Bridge, the city’s first new bridge since 1964. Following the early ceremony, there was a light show held in the evening to mark the official opening to the public, allowing the the first set of vehicles to cross around 11:30 p.m.
The following morning, there were already complaints that the new bridge had resulted in traffic congestion that was worse than the old bridge, causing serious frustration and a bit of confusion.
According to the New York Times, commuters found themselves in bumper-to-bumper traffic that stretched the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway leading up to the bridge and sluggish traffic along the bridge’s new span.
“The old one was the worst bridge in New York — they had to fix it, so we already knew what we were driving into, but we didn’t expect it to be this bad,” Rich Kenney, a commuter from Long Island to Brooklyn told the Times.
The heavy traffic has been attributed to drivers adjusting to the bridge’s new traffic pattern as well as people just out for some sightseeing. “I think people were doing what I was doing, seeing the new bridge. I didn’t need to go that way,” Dominic Rafter, a Queens resident told the New York Daily News.
According to Governor Cuomo, once the bridge’s second span is completed in 2020, traffic delays will be reduced by 65 percent. Until then, things might be congested for a little while longer.