Governor Andrew Cuomo recently toured the second span of the new Kosciuszko Bridge and announced an agreement to complete the first and second phases of Under the K, a transformative project that will turn nearly seven acres beneath the Kosciuszko Bridge in Brooklyn into a public program space and park.
Under the agreement, the New York State Department of Transportation will provide the use of state land to North Brooklyn Parks Alliance to allow for the beginning of programming by the summer of 2020.
North Brooklyn Parks is leading the design and construction, and will ultimately operate and maintain the space.
Gov. Cuomo also announced that New York State will spend $1 million for paving and prep work, as well as an additional $6 million to fully fund the capital investments planned for phase two of the project.
Called “Under the K,” the new public space is designed by PUBLIC WORK, the Toronto-based landscape architecture firm responsible for The Bentway, the popular public space underneath the Gardiner Expressway in Toronto. Located at the hub of four of diverse and growing neighborhoods, Under the K will fill a void within the area’s current open space options.
With the agreement with NYSDOT complete for use of the land, phase one of the project will move forward, which includes creating the park’s perimeter, the preparation of future planting areas, and the laying of asphalt and creation of pedestrian paths based on the design of PUBLIC WORK. This will allow for the space’s planned programming to begin as early as Memorial Day 2020.
With full funding also now in place for phase two, the process can move forward for additional park elements to further enhance the space. Phase two of the project will introduce elements which include: elevating specified areas of the park with landscaped mounds, installing seating areas, planting trees and designing and planting landscaped gardens with a focus on native plantings.
The Kosciuszko Bridge project replaces the previous 80-year-old bridge, first opened in 1939 under President Roosevelt’s administration, with two new state-of-the-art, cable-stayed bridges, one Queens-bound and one Brooklyn-bound. The Kosciuszko Bridge is the first new major bridge crossing constructed in New York City since the Verrazzano Bridge in 1964.