"The Kosciuszko Bridge project continues to reap benefits not only for motorists, pedestrians, and the cycling community, but for a North Brooklyn community craving for more open space in the midst of a worldwide pandemic," Cuomo said. "The infrastructure projects that we are rolling out across the state are much more than just roads and bridges — they enhance safety and commerce and have the power to bring entire communities together safely. Under the K Bridge Park is living proof that the Kosciuszko Bridge project didn't just connect two New York City boroughs but is helping to transform an entire community."
Under the K Bridge Park is fully connected to the existing shared use path on the Brooklyn-bound span of the Kosciuszko Bridge, enabling pedestrians and bicyclists to enjoy recreational activities as a result of this bridge project. The facility will be open daily from dawn until dusk, with COVID-19 health and safety measures in place to ensure park visitors comply with the state's guidance on masks, social distancing, and gatherings.
Featuring elevated lawns, a rain garden, wetland gardens, and wooded areas, Under the K Bridge Park features more than 20,000 trees and native plant species, including fern, birch, maple, and evergreen trees. It also offers visitors views of the Manhattan Skyline and the Kosciuszko Bridge Main Span's cable-stayed structures.
In addition to a connector path that links the Shared Use path of the Kosciuszko Bridge with Under the K Bridge Park, two other parcels beneath the Kosciuszko Bridge approach spans feature a small berm to accommodate seating, a large plaza area designed to inspire movement, from roller skating to skateboarding, and a larger hill area to accommodate viewing of programs and performances. Located on the waterfront of the Newtown Creek, "Creekside" prominently features the concrete foundations of the old Kosciuszko Bridge Main Span from the original 1939 construction, offering these historical artifacts as sitting and viewing areas of the creek and the Manhattan skyline. There is also a small amphitheater at the edge of the creek designed to feature more intimate waterfront performances.
"The Kosciuszko Bridge is one of the most significant infrastructure projects in New York City's history, providing long-awaited benefits to city motorists," said New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez. "With the addition of this truly innovative urban park, DOT is expanding those benefits to further integrate green, open space for the enjoyment of all New Yorkers. The COVID-19 public health emergency underscored the need for outdoor recreational opportunities, and that's exactly what Under the K Bridge Park provides. With expansive walkways, innovative design, and landscaping, this bridge truly connects people through infrastructure and greenspace. One project at a time, Governor Cuomo continues to prove that here in New York, transportation infrastructure projects are the building blocks to transforming entire communities."
"This park is a much-needed gift to the community after so many months of having to stay indoors, and I commend the governor's team for their hard work to make it possible," said City Council Member Stephen Levin. "Recreational spaces are fundamental for the development of children and for our collective well-being, and I look forward to seeing the community once again come together in this new and exciting public area."
Under the K Bridge Park also builds upon previous efforts to create new parkland for Brooklyn residents, including Shirley Chisholm State Park. At 407 acres and situated along the shores of Jamaica Bay, it is the state's newest and largest public park in New York City. It also builds upon Sergeant William Dougherty Park, which opened on the Brooklyn side of the bridge in Greenpoint in December 2018.
The Brooklyn-bound span of the Kosciuszko Bridge officially opened in August 2019. The completed bridge represented the first major bridge crossing built in New York City since the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge opened to traffic in 1964. The opening of the new bridge, part of an $873-million design-build construction project, was accomplished a full four years ahead of schedule and on budget.