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Yesterday, we attended the grand opening of the new Kosciuszko Bridge, and listened as Brooklynites and residents of Queens collectively released a sigh of relief. For years, the existing span has wheezed under the perpetual congestion at this infamous crossing between Greenpoint, Brooklyn and Maspeth, Queens. Now, drivers will no longer have to experience spontaneous bouts of road rage, as the new, state-of-the-art bridge (the Queens span) will temporarily carry the entire automotive load until a second, dedicated Brooklyn span (Phase II) is built.

In the meantime, here are 10 fun facts about the new Kosciuszko Bridge that we learned yesterday and directly from Skanska, the engineering and construction firm behind the project.

1. The New Kosciuszko Bridge is the First Cable-Stayed Bridge in New York City

The Queens span of the new Kosciuszko Bridge is built from 998,141 linear feet of stay cable strands — that adds up to roughly 189 miles. It’s the first vehicular cable-stayed bridge in New York City, since the Brooklyn Bridge is technically a hybrid suspension/cable-stayed span.

In addition, the new bridge has a 20-foot bikeway/walkway, rectifying a major shortcoming of the previous span – whose two pedestrian walkways were eliminated in 1966 to add more care lanes.

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