78-year-old NYC bridge knocked down by ‘energetic felling’

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Updated Oct 18, 2017

Kosciuszko Bridge Demolition

The former Kosciuszko Bridge in New York City was brought down October 1 by a process called “energetic felling,” to make way for two new cable-stayed bridges.

The process involved placing small explosives in key spots, causing the bridge to fall straight down, according to The Bridge. The trusses were dismantled with heavy equipment, and their 22 million pounds of steel will be recycled, according to the New York State Department of Transportation.

The demolition is part of an $873 million project to replace the 78-year-old bridge on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway with two new cable-stayed bridges. The first cable bridge has already been constructed. The demolition makes way for construction of the second span.

“The energetic felling of the approach spans of the former Kosciuszko Bridge marks another milestone in the construction of the first major new bridge in New York City in more than 50 years,” said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The first span of the new Kosciuszko Bridge opened in April, with its $555 million price tag marking the largest single contract by the NYSDOT. The Queens-bound bridge will carry three lanes in each direction until the second, Brooklyn-bound bridge, is completed under a separate $318 million contract. Eventually, there will be five Queens-bound lanes and four Brooklyn-bound lanes. The bridges will also have a biking and walking path and carry 200,000 commuters a day.

The project is scheduled to be completed in 2019, four years ahead of the original project schedule, the NYDOT says.