New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Sunday the first span of the new Kosciuszko Bridge will open to drivers between Brooklyn and Queens on Thursday, April 27.
The bridge, which is the first of two new spans, is estimated to be used by up to 200,000 commuters every day. Traffic will go in both directions until the construction of the second span is complete by early 2020. Sections of the old bridge will be demolished this summer. The Kosciuszko Bridge project is replacing the existing 78-year-old bridge, which was first opened in 1939 under President Roosevelt’s administration.
The opening will be celebrated with a party and the city’s first bridge light show that uses color-changing, music-sync LED lights installed on the span. Cuomo said the show will be visible for miles. It will also include coordination with the lights of the Empire State Building.
In addition to the Kosciuszko Bridge, last fall, Gov. Cuomo announced his “New York Harbor of Lights” initiative to put LED light shows on all seven MTA-operated bridges and tunnels as well as the George Washington Bridge by May 2018 as a way to boost the state tourism industry.
The LED lights between multiple bridges can also be coordinated for special events. It is not clear how much the lighting installations cost. They were part of the MTA's overall US$27 billion capital plan to install fully automatic toll booths, improve tunnel flood control, along with carrying out other infrastructure transformation projects.