February 27, 2017
By Neal Tepel
Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams is sounding the alarm on the feared environmental and public health harm that may result from the State’s planned implosion of the Kosciuszko Bridge.
The community, which has some of the poorest air quality and highest pollution levels citywide due to decades of toxic damage, first learned of the intent to blow up the old span through media reports. Borough President Adams, is urging the State to put safety first and ensure they are proceeding with a bridge replacement plan with the least environmental impact.
“Expeditious action should never trump public safety and health quality,” said Borough President Adams. “The community at large and the local elected officials should not find out from reading in the tabloids any new methods that could potentially damage the cleanup that we have attempted to do in this community and have worked so hard to accomplish. We already have a large concern around car pollution, and we don’t want to add to this issue by having particles pushed in the air due to this implosion. That is our call today to the Governor’s office: Give us a clear understanding of the impact of using any form of implosion or explosion.”
Borough President Adams noted the toxicity of the Superfund site-designated Newtown Creek, which runs under the Kosciuszko Bridge between Brooklyn and Queens, as well as the legacy of additional pollutants that have produced high local rates of asthma and related ailments. There are concerns about what implosion is going to mean for the stability of the bridge, what it’s going to mean for the surrounding waste transfer stations that are already causing a lot of environmental harm and air pollution.
“For years, we have known that the Kosciuszko Bridge is one of the worst bridges in the country,” said Representative Maloney. “That is why I fought hard to secure $670 million in federal funds, so that we could construct the bridge that this community needs and deserves. These residents have been living with this construction, and working hard to ensure that the process is as painless as possible. Throughout the process the community has been included, and any time a significant decision like this is made, the community should be consulted beforehand. I share and understand their concerns about the impact of a bridge implosion. This is a community that has been suffering from real environmental hardships — poor air quality, water pollution. We need to understand the potential environmental ramifications, the impact on the neighborhood, on traffic, on small businesses. We need to know what alternatives were considered and why this approach was chosen.”
Borough President Adams expressed that he looks forward to the State updating the community at a public briefing, and that he will work to make sure they stay engaged with local residents.