Firm Represents Property Owner To Protect Buildings Within 25 Feet of the Kosciusko Bridge Implosion

Friday, October 20, 2017

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK —Sahn Ward Coschignano, PLLC has announced that the Firm represented Emil Realty, the owner of commercial buildings in Brooklyn, New York, in the negotiation and consummation of an agreement to protect its buildings from potential damage arising from the implosion of the former Kosciuszko Bridge on October 1, 2017, in which the implosion occurred approximately 25 feet from the client’s buildings. The matter was handled by Jon Ward, a Partner with the Firm, who was assisted by Firm Partner Chris Coschignano and Firm Associate Nick Cappadora.

Prior to the implosion, Emil Realty sought the Firm’s guidance on how best to protect its properties from potential damage arising from the implosion, which called for the felling of the approach trusses of the bridge by detonating explosives at key structural points on the bridge and allowing the bridge road bed and its structural components to collapse to the ground below the bridge. As planned by the New York State Department of Transportation and its contractor, Skanska Kiewit ECCO III JV (SKE), an 800-ton segment of the bridge was to fall a vertical distance of approximately 50 feet and land approximately 25 horizontal feet from the client’s buildings. The client was justifiably concerned that such ultra-hazardous activity could potentially cause catastrophic damage to its buildings.

To advise the client, the Firm assembled a team of professionals, including a structural dynamics engineer, to assess the bridge felling plan and its anticipated impact on the client’s buildings, i.e., air blast energy from the detonation of explosives on the bridge; seismic vibrational energy from the impact of the bridge components on the ground; and a second air blast of dust and debris created from the impact. The Firm then represented the client in negotiating an appropriate agreement with SKE to protect the client’s buildings from the risk of damage, which agreement included the following components:

● Pre-felling inspection survey of the buildings;

● Installation of seismic monitoring devices in the buildings to measure the vibrational energy generated from the felling and its impact on the building;

● Increasing the size of earthen berms under the bridge to absorb vibrational energy from the felling;

● Protection of the buildings from dust and debris (this includes installation and removal of plywood on windows, temporary covers for air handling units and scupper protection);

● Post-felling inspection survey of the buildings immediately after the felling to assess damage immediately after the felling and at one month and six months from the felling;

● Sharing of any and all data, photographs and video footage of the felling operations;

● Cleanup of dust and debris from the building related to the felling;

● Prompt repair of any damage caused to the building by the felling;

● Indemnification of the client from damages and liability arising from the felling;

● Naming of the client as an additional insured on SKE’s commercial general liability policy with coverage protection up to $10 million; and

● Mandatory, expedited arbitration in the event of any disputes.

“We are pleased to be able to provide this representation to our client,” Mr. Ward said. “By entering into this agreement, we were able to protect our client’s properties and interests while, at the same time, allowing this vital public works project to move forward.”

For more information about Sahn Ward Coschignano, call (516) 228-1300 or visit





About Sahn Ward Coschignano, PLLC

Sahn Ward Coschignano, PLLC is one of the region’s most highly regarded and recognized law firms. The firm is committed to providing its clients with the highest quality representation, counsel, and advice. Practice areas include zoning and land use; real estate law and transactions; litigation and appeals; municipal law and legislative practice; cellular and telecommunications law; environmental, corporate, labor and employment law; tax certiorari and condemnation; matrimonial practice; and estate planning. The firm strives to assist its clients in a wide array of issues, serving them with skill and experience, resourcefulness, and responsibility. For more information, call (516) 228-1300 or visit