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The demolition of the bridge. Image via Twitter user Darsh Suresh

No, the Kosciuszko Bridge will not be blown up. Yesterday morning, Phase I of the demolition of the old Kosciuszko Bridge began, with the Department of Transportation (DOT) lowering the bridge’s 300-foot-long main span onto a barge at a rate of 20 feet per hour. According to Brooklyn Eaglethe span was carried out along Newtown Creek between 10AM and 12PM, and it is being transported to a New Jersey recycling facility. Phase I of the demolition is a core component of the $873 million investment to replace the old Kosciuszko Bridge, marking the beginning of a long-awaited process for residents of Brooklyn and Queens.

Phase I of the demolition was supposed to start on July 11, but instead took place two weeks later on July 25. The entire process took about 16 to 18 hours, with some New Yorkers eagerly watching from the DOT’s recommended spot in Long Island City between Review Avenue and Laurel Hill Boulevard.

Watchers documenting the demolition. Image via Newtown Creek Alliance

The demolition of the bridge. Image via Twitter user Darsh Suresh

Image via NYC DOT

Prior to the start of the demolition, Willis Elkins of the Newtown Creek Alliance told Brooklyn Eagle, “It’s not going to be an exploding bridge over the water, they’re going to bring the main span of the bridge down onto a barge … and barge it out, which I think will be pretty phenomenal to see.”

While some may be under the impression that the old Kosciuszko Bridge will be torn down in one eventful day, Brooklyn Eagle further reports that this is not the case. Instead, the remaining parts of the bridge that stand over land will be carefully imploded to minimize environmental harm.

Image via NYC DOT

Two brand new, six-lane spans are replacing the old, rusting Kosciuszko Bridge, which was built in 1939 to connect Queens and Brooklyn. The new bridge debuted in April to much fanfare, becoming New York City’s first new bridge in 53 years at a price tag of $555 million. The second span of the new bridge is set to replace the demolished one by 2020, costing more than $200 million. Furthermore, the Newtown Creek Alliance has indicated the possibility of creating park space and a boat launch on the Brooklyn end of the bridge by 2020.

Update: the bridge is now floating down the East River! Photos here.

Next, read Top 12 Secrets of NYC’s Kosciuszko Bridge Between Brooklyn and Queens and 15 NYC Bridges Under Construction: Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queensboro, Williamsburg Bridges

 Kosciuszko Bridge, Newtown Creek

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