HALFMOON, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Twin Bridges connects Saratoga and Albany Counties on Interstate 87, also known as the Northway. In 2017, the New York State Department of Transportation estimated that 104,666 cars travel across the bridge every day.
Like the highway it carries across the Mohawk River, the Twin Bridges is the more common name. The formal name for the bridge is the Thaddeus Kosciuszko Bridge.
The bridge opened in 1959 and was named after Andrzej Tadeusz Bonaventura Kościuszko (1746-1817), more commonly known as Thaddeus Kościuszko. He was a Polish general, military engineer, and revolutionary, according to the National Park Service.
Kościuszko fought in the American Revolution. In August 1776, Kościuszko arrived in Philadelphia from Poland. He was given the rank of colonel in October 1776 after meeting Benjamin Franklin and designing blockades and fortresses along the Delaware River. According to the National Park Service, Kościuszko’s structures and use of topography contributed to the victory at the Battle of Saratoga in 1777.
He also fought an uprising back home in Poland. Given the title of major general, Kościuszko fought several battles for Polish freedom. He was eventually wounded, captured, and brought to Russia in 1794. According to the National Park Service, he was freed after a new Czar came to power in 1796. Kościuszko then returned to the United States.
Kosciuszko became close friends with Vice President Thomas Jefferson. He worked out his will with Jefferson’s legal help, requesting that his estate be used to free as many slaves as possible. Kościuszko returned to Europe in 1798 for another attempt at Polish freedom. He died in Switzerland at the age of 71.
According to the National Park Service, Kościuszko was known for his bravery, kindness, patriotism, likeability, and unwavering strength of character. The Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial is located in Philadelphia and shows the life of the Polish patriot and hero of the American Revolution. Another bridge in New York City also bears his name.