Saturday, February 20, 2010

New Kosciuszko to have Unicycle Lane

The Kosciuszko Bridge is getting redesigned. This is very good news for Unicycle Bridge Tour riders because it will allow us to legally close in our Newton creek crossings. We have three bridges left to cross over Newton Creek. The Borden Avenue bridge is closed for emergency repairs and will reopen in April 2010. The Long Island Expressway span over Dutch Kills and the Kosciuszko bridge remain out of limits. Currently neither have pedestrian, bike, or unicycle lanes and would be illegal to cross by unicycle without permission.

Last night four possible designs for the Kosciuszko bridge, which goes over Newtown Creek and connects Brooklyn and Queens, were unveiled by the DOT for residents to review and critique. All four designs feature unicycle lanes.

The four designs offer the same support and safety, with different appeal: the concrete cable-stayed bridge resembles a Modernist take on the Brooklyn Bridge; the crescent arch design is similar to the Bayonne Bridge; the deck arch is basically a more stylish box girder; and the simple, highway-like box girder would maintain a nice view of Manhattan.

Each design has an increased number of lanes, featuring five toward Brooklyn and four toward Queens. There will be a pedestrian walkway and unicycle lane. The NY Times reports that a price tag wasn't put on the project, though word is it could cost up to $1.7 billion. But as one DOT director declared, “It will be the first new bridge in New York City since the Verrazano. This is a big deal.”

Many unicyclists said that they didn’t care what it would look like, as long as it eliminates the bridge’s notorious steep incline.

The refurbished, now 60-year-old bridge would last another 100 years and keep the same name — after Tadeusz Kosciuszko, an instrumental Polish general in the American Revolutionary War.

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