Photo via the Newtown Creek Alliance

Lower your expectations.

People hear that a bridge is going to be demolished and they think fire and brimstone, dynamited infrastructure going up in flames and a sonic boom, an implosion of aging roadway exploding in a burst of historic violence. In reality, it usually means a boon for some local construction unions and a peaceful removal of large hunks of metal.

As soon as the internet got wind of this summer’s slated demolition the Kosciuszko Bridge, that unpronounceable Polish-named expanse that connects Greenpoint and Queens across Newtown Creek, it went wild with petitions to serenade the bridge’s death and plans to defend it with wolves & swords. While everyone has let their imaginations run free, however, the bridge has already begun to be deconstructed piecemeal.

According to community-based organization Newtown Creek Alliance (NCA), “The Bridge will not be exploded over or fall into Newtown Creek.” Instead, they write, the demolition will be a “2-step process involving the lowering of the main span onto a barge,” and the demolition of “approach sections via implosion.” When an array of agencies reviewed the bridge’s demolition process, it seems they were far more concerned with the environment’s safety than the public’s entertainment.

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RIP old Kosciuszko. Photo via DOT
RIP old Kosciuszko. Photo via DOT

So, the main span of the bridge will meet its end not with a bang but with a barge, onto which it will be lowered and shipped to a metal recycling facility in New Jersey, according to the NCA. The lowering process is sure to be neat, but the NCA estimates it will be a 12-hour process that won’t include flying hunks of metal and great splashes in the water below. This part of the demolition process does not yet have an official date, but will likely happen in early July.

The approach sections will meet a slightly more Instagrammable fate in that they will be welded off before falling to the ground. The NCA believes the approach sections will be imploded “in the early morning hours on a Sunday” at a date still TBD.

There you have it. If you wanted a countdown and an epic explosion, you shoulda been on Governors Island in 2013.

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1 COMMENT

  1. It’s not that simple. The same company doing this job did the same thing to the Davis Avenue bridge in Pittsburgh. Structures a block away were so damaged they had to be condemned. It took some of the adjacent property owners over a year to get compensated for repairing the damage.

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