Skanska USA Celebrates Grand Opening of Queens-Bound Span of New Kosciuszko Bridge

Press release 4/27/2017 12:00 AM EST

Project’s completion marks the first major bridge constructed in New York City in more than 50 years

Skanska and Kiewit executives and Governor Andrew Cuomo celebrate the grand opening of the Queens-bound span of the new Kosciuszko Bridge on April 27, 2017.

Skanska USA and its partners marked the completion of the first phase of the replacement of the almost 80-year-old Kosciuszko Bridge at a celebration on April 27, 2017. The new Kosciuszko Bridge is the first cable-stayed bridge in New York City, and it was the first bridge opened in the City since the Verrazano Bridge in 1964. An estimated 200,000 commuters travel the bridge each day.

Skanska joined New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and other elected officials at the event, including Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, Senator Martin Dilan, Assemblymember Joe Lentol, Assemblymember Catherine Nolan, Assemblymember Erik Dilan, Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon, Assemblymember Maritza Davila, and New York City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer, to celebrate the opening of the Queens-bound span of the bridge.

“Skanska USA congratulates Governor Cuomo and the State of New York on the completion of the first cable-stayed bridge in New York City history,” said Mike Viggiano, Executive Vice President of Skanska USA Civil. “We commend the Governor for his vision of modernizing our aging transit systems and for illustrating the potential of design/build as our city, state and nation explore alternative methods for more rapidly and efficiently meeting our infrastructure needs.”

The Design-Build contract for Phase I of the Kosciusko Bridge Project was awarded to the Skanska-led SKANSKA-Kiewit-ECCO III joint venture in May of 2014 – the largest contract ever awarded by the New York State Department of Transportation. Since then, up to 410 Skanska supervisors, construction and craft workers, and subcontractors have been on site each day to support the massive effort to design and construct the span. Fifteen percent of the contract value of the project was awarded to Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs), exceeding the 14 percent requirement set by the NYSDOT.

Beginning the evening of April 27, traffic was diverted from the old bridge to the new span, which will carry three lanes of traffic in each direction as Skanska continues its work to remove the existing bridge. The efficient execution of the first phase of the Kosciuszko Bridge Project, as well as Governor Cuomo’s announced plan to implode two major sections of the old bridge, will allow Phase II of the project to begin seven months ahead of schedule. The anticipated opening of the Brooklyn-bound span in early 2020 is now on track to be completed a full four years ahead of schedule.

The innovative design and construction techniques implemented during Phase I of the project make the bridge safer and will reduce congestion on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, which runs across it, by up to 65%, benefiting both motorists and the local community. Examples of the improvements include:

  • A gentler roadway grade, which improves traffic safety and maintenance access, and accommodates more embankment structure;
  • A straighter drive, which improves driver sight distance and allows for the optimization of surrounding park and street space;
  • The standardization of travel lane and shoulder widths and the addition of merging lanes in both directions, which will improve travel speeds; and
  • Increased distances between expansion joints, which allows for easier maintenance, extends the bridge’s long-term service life, and provides a quieter ride for commuters.

The opening celebration was also the debut of Governor Cuomo’s “New York Harbor of Lights” initiative, as LED lights installed on the bridge were synchronized with music broadcasted on iHeartRadio stations, as well as the lights of the Empire State Building. The new Kosciuszko Bridge is the first of the seven MTA-operated bridges to be equipped with high-tech, multi-colored LED lighting, which will be visible for miles and illuminate on special occasions moving forward. The installation of LEDs on the remaining bridges is expected to be completed by May 2018, and will further boost the thriving state tourism industry.

The completion Phase I of this project represents another step forward in the ongoing and concerted effort by Governor Cuomo, Skanska USA, and other key stakeholders in promoting vital infrastructure projects in the State of New York. The opening of the Kosciuszko Bridge comes less than four months after Skanska joined Governor Cuomo in celebrating the completion of the Second Avenue Subway Project, the most significant single expansion of New York City’s subway infrastructure in nearly 100 years.

In February, Skanska completed construction on a new, elevated Bayonne Bridge roadway without interrupting traffic on the existing bridge. The new Bayonne Bridge deck sits 64 feet above the original roadway, and will allow large container ships to pass through the Kill Van Kull waterway to dock at Newark and Elizabeth once the lower roadway is removed.

Skanska is currently leading the partnership that is rebuilding the Central Terminal B at LaGuardia Airport, a $4 billion project to create a new, 1.3 million square foot terminal building and associated infrastructure, all while the existing terminally remains fully operational.