Leaders on both sides of Newtown Creek have expressed some concern about a state plan to implode the two approaches to the Kosciuszko Bridge in July, but for different reasons.
In Brooklyn, residents and elected officials decried the plan at a press conference last Friday, with some worrying about what potential environmental impacts the implosions could have on Newtown Creek, which the bridge spans.
But in Queens, Community Board 5 Chairman and construction expert Vincent Arcuri Jr. said the frustration was over a lack of notice give by the state about the demolition plan.
That displeasure was expressed at a stakeholders advisory council meeting in Long Island City on Tuesday, where Arcuri said a number of people were vocal about it.
“Not too many people knew about this plan,” Arcuri said. “The FDNY’s blasting division was there, and they said they only heard about it through the newspapers.”
Plans to implode the span’s approaches on either side of the creek were announced last Wednesday, with Gov. Cuomo saying that would allow the $555 bridge replacement project’s second phase — the construction of a new Brooklyn-bound span — to begin seven months ahead of schedule.
That will begin after traffic is transferred from the 77-year-old Kosciuszko Bridge onto the new Queens-bound span April 1.
That bridge will carry three lanes in each direction until the Brooklyn-bound span is completed in 2020.
Before the approaches are imploded, the state will remove the central section of the bridge by lowering it onto barges and transporting it to a plant in New Jersey in May.
The implosion will occur on July 15, according to Arcuri.
“I’m not against it,” he said of the new demolition plan. “It’s a known method in the industry. But this was the governor jumping out ahead of everything and saying what he wanted to say.”
The lack of notice even prompted a minor feud between Gov. Cuomo and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
“Just as we continue to build the physical infrastructure of New York City,” Adams said last Friday, “we must build a communication infrastructure with the residents, leaders and electeds so they are aware of the methodologies that are used to build our infrastructure.”
Cuomo’s office quickly responded, with a spokesman telling various media outlets that Adams failed to attend any of the five briefing meetings or two on-site tours the state invited him to.
When asked if Arcuri had any concerns about the implosions as it relates to possible environmental impacts on Newtown Creek, the retired construction manager with decades of experience in the industry said he isn’t worried at all.
“There are really no concerns that any materials would fall into the river,” he said. “It will be under full control.”
A spokesman for the Newtown Creek Alliance, when reached for comment by the Chronicle on Tuesday, said the group did not have enough information about the plan to comment on potential impacts on the body of water.