3. The New Kosciuszko Bridge Will Be Followed By Upgrades to the Surrounding Area

The Kosciuszko Bridge anchors an area of the city that time and newer technologies have left behind, an industrioscape that has stayed remarkably unchanged over the years. It’s a place where streets come to an indeterminate end, and the whole concept of a public system of roads and sidewalks just falls apart. At night, it’s desolate and sort of sketched in, like an outline of a neighborhood that no longer really exists.

What the elements of this area contribute and add up to–the bridge, the 24-hour dumps, the railroad line, factory buildings and the opaque waters of Newtown Creek–is primarily the remains of a manufacturing sector that’s been mostly stripped out of New York City, holding on to less expensive real estate in the face of a likely eventual extinction. But they also comprise a rich visual and physical texture that was hundreds of years in the making.

Once the new bridge is built, upgrades to the surrounding area will follow. The city intends to create nine acres of parkland on the Brooklyn side, along the creek. It will open up the waterfront, but most likely in a way that we can probably guess: as a largely curated experience.  

A new park is unlikely to end up even close to the unselfconscious appeal of the archaic industrial sprawl there now. This is not the kind of bridge or environment that is ever going to evoke calls for preservation. Few are much aware of it, and even fewer care.