NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Brooklyn residents are concerned about the potential impact imploding the old Kosciuszko Bridge could have on the environment and public health.
Residents fear the bridge implosion could release toxic dust into a neighborhood already burdened by industrial pollution and Superfund Sites, WCBS 880’s Mike Smeltz reported.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams is demanding better communication from the state, a community meeting with the state Department of Transportation, and a full explanation of what the impact of implosion would be.
“We already have a large concern around the car pollution and we don’t want to add to this issue by having particles pushed in the air due to this implosion,” Adams said. “We want them to put a pause on it until they can have it totally vetted, and viewed and reviewed by the public and all the stakeholders that are involved.”
“The community should be consulted first so that they understand the potential environmental ramifications, the impact on the neighborhood on traffic and small business,” said U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), who helped secure funding for the bridge.
In a statement, a spokesman for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office took issue with the complaints.
“The state has had more than 140 meetings to date and we will continue public dialogue with all stakeholders throughout the remainder of this project. Implosion is the safest and the most efficient plan so any theatrics or grandstanding from community leaders is not only unnecessary but entirely misleading,” the statement said. “We are surprised that the borough president suddenly has an interest in this project considering he didn’t attend a single one of the five briefing meetings or two tours that he has been invited to since he took office.”
The 77-year-old bridge will be replaced with two new spans, one Queens-bound and one Brooklyn-bound.
Gov. Cuomo announced this week that when the Queens-bound bridge is finished this spring, they’ll implode the existing structure before work begins on the Brooklyn-bound bridge.
The entire project is expected to be completed in 2020.