Cuomo and city officials cut the ribbon on new Kosciuszko Bridge

The first span of a project to replace the Kosciuszko Bridge is open to New York City drivers.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo will host the grand opening ceremony today at 11 a.m.

The towers on the new bridge rival the Statue of Liberty at 180 feet.

By May 2018, the light shows will be set up on all of the MTA-managed bridges and tunnels, which includes the Henry Hudson Bridge, Whitestone Bridge, Throgs Neck Bridge, RFK Triborough Bridge, Queens Midtown Tunnel, Hugh L. Carey Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge and Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge. Thursday's show will be synchronized to music airing on multiple iHeartRadio stations.

Cuomo announced in February that the old Kosciuzsko, opened in 1939, would go out with a bang, with workers carting away the span's center portion and then rigging the remaining structure with explosives in order to speed up work. By 2020, the bridge will be two spans, with five lanes on the Queens-bound side and four lanes and a pedestrian path on the Brooklyn-bound side. Cuomo says it was built for 10,000. The governor said the first time he had ever heard his father, Mario, use expletives was when crossing the old bridge.

And he indicated that there is more to come, stressing that he wants to ensure that NY has infrastructure that can last into future generations. But Cuomo went on to hype the new Kosciuszko in a distinctly Trumpian way: "We didn't just build a bridge- we built a lovely bridge", he said. The need for new infrastructure is something Cuomo stressed multiple times during his comments at the opening of the bridge. "We are gonna build a new NY because at the end of the day, it's very simple: our fundamental obligation as citizens, as parents, is to leave this place a better place".

The bridge is named for Tadeusz Kosciuszko, a native of Poland who became a hero of the American Revolution.

  • Salvatore Jensen