BROOKLYN, NY – The skies were clear, blue and calm- and a blaze-orange hue rose over the Queens skyline at 6:30am. Sunday was a beautiful morning to blow up a bridge – and two students from Truman’s Media Program had an up-close and personal experience, witnessing the “Energetic Felling” of the Kosciuszko Bridge.
“You don’t usually get to sit on the front-lines of history. As an 18-year-old, I was able to witness a historical event, and that’s the greatest experience a person could ever ask for,” Senior Abel Zewde told NBC 4 New York reporter Ken Buffa during an on-camera interview.
The 78-year-old bridge span connects the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens over Newtown Creek. A special event hosted by Gov. Andrew Cuomo allowed around 100 lottery-winners to watch the implosion from the shoreline of the creek. The media students were special guests at the event, and were invited to be a part of the press pool.
“Again – we are pushing our students to get out and cover real-world events… tell the real stories of New York. We did some of that last year – and already we’re starting off the year trying to do it bigger and better,” according to media teacher Dave Roush. “These students continue to impress me with their work ethic and enthusiasm. They’re in school late at night, they’re putting in many hours on the weekends. It’s awesome.”
The students had to wake up at 4 a.m. Sunday to get to the location and set up on time. At exactly 8 a.m., hundreds of charges were set off that shook the press boats – and dropped ten sections of approach roadway on each side of the creek. It all took just a matter of seconds.
“It was something I don’t get to see everyday,” Media sophomore Steven Estevez told PIX 11 News. “It was a great experience for me, my teacher, my school, everybody. It was cool.”
The old bridge was taken down to make way for a second span of the new Kosciuszko Bridge. This is the second event hosted by Governor Cuomo that media students have covered. Earlier this year they were in attendance at LaGuardia Community College when he announced the statewide Excelsior Scholarship program.