It was a busy day for the Untapped Cities staff today. While some of us were checking out the new NYC Ferry vessels before they launch at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, others were at the grand opening of the new Kosciuszko Bridge. In addition to fixing the perpetually congested bridge, which was already the third bridge at this crossing between Greenpoint, Brooklyn and Maspeth, Queens, it’s the first major new bridge built in New York City in fifty years. Today’s opening was attended by New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, who crossed the bridge in Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s 1932 Packard car with license plate, “ILOVENY,” which he brought out of a New York State museum and restored recently. The stunt was intended to “bring the spirit” of Roosevelt to the momentous event.

This first span of the Kosciuszko Bridge will be additionally celebrated this evening with a synchronized LED light show, the first bridge with this technology although many bridges, including the George Washington Bridge are already part of the New York Harbor of Lights program. The new bridge will be open to traffic in both ways late tonight, around 11:30 PM, at which point the existing span will be closed. It will be demolished (or blown up, according to reports), sometime this summer, after which the second plan of the new bridge will be constructed in its place.

The current Kosciuszko Bridge with new span rising beside it:

Also attending today’s event was Queens Borough President, Melinda Katz, Polish Consul General Maciej Golubiewski
Assemblymember Joe Lentol. The Kosciuszko Bridge is named after Tadeusz Kosciuszko, an American Revolutionary War general from Poland. He oversaw the construction the fortifications at West Point and was a celebrated military tactician not only in the American Revolution but also in Poland against the Russians. If you’re curious how to pronounce Kosciuszko, WNYC released a tool about “How to Speak New York” in 2014.

Stay tuned tomorrow for our article on the fun facts about the new bridge! For now, check out 12 secrets of the current Kosciuszko Bridge.

2 thoughts on “Governor Cuomo Crosses New Kosciuszko Bridge in FDR’s 1932 Packard Car at Grand Opening

  1. Cuomo’s big head is spending your money. I wonder what it cost to have Wayne Carini make the repairs on a car that has no business with a big dope driving it .

  2. In the first paragraph: …it’s the first new bridge built in New York City in fifty years.
    I had to think about that claim for a minute. I remembered not too long ago both the Third Ave and WIllis Ave
    bridges were replaced in a way that I believe counts as new as much as the Kosciusko Bridge does.
    The Willis Ave bridge was removed and the new one built near Albany and floated down to the Harlem River site. I not sure if the Third Ave bridge was made by the same contractor. The point is both swing bridges may be replacements but so is the Kosciusko. I say they all count as new. Wikipedia has a picture of the new Willis Ave bridge floating up the East river.

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