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Old Kosciuszko Bridge to be demolished this weekend, source says

The implosion of the old Kosciuszko Bridge is

The implosion of the old Kosciuszko Bridge is set for Sunday at 8 a.m., Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office said. Photo Credit: Viorel Florescu / Newsday

This is not a drill: The old Kosciuszko Bridge will (finally) be demolished this weekend, a source said Thursday.

The 78-year-old bridge’s implosion, set for Sunday, was expected to take place over the summer but was delayed for undisclosed reasons. It remains unclear what time the bridge would come down on Sunday.

A request for comment was not immediately returned by the state Department of Transportation, which runs the bridge.

The old Kosciuszko will be demolished using a process called energetic felling, the source said, which requires the placement of little charges at key joints on the bridge so that when the charges go off, the bridge breaks apart and falls directly down.

The bridge’s impending demolition was welcomed by motorists who had endured decades of congestion on the span connecting Brooklyn and Queens.

When the old Kosciuszko Bridge opened in 1939, it was only meant to carry about 10,000 vehicles a day, according to the state. When the bridge was closed in April – replaced by the first span of the new Kosciuszko Bridge – about 180,000 vehicles were crossing it each day.

The first span of the new bridge, featuring three lanes of traffic in each direction, opened amid much fanfare. Gov. Andrew Cuomo was joined by other elected officials and a marching band for a ceremonial first ride over the new span. The governor tested out the bridge using Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1932 Packard.

Cuomo had said at the time that the new Kosciuszko was the “first major New York City bridge to open in more than 50 years.”

The bridge’s second span is scheduled to open in 2020. When it does, the bridge will offer five lanes on the Queens-bound side and four lanes and a pedestrian path on the Brooklyn-bound side.

With Vincent Barone

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