DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN – The NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) is hosting a meeting this Thursday, September 27 to discuss the agency’s two proposed plans on rehabilitating the deteriorating Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE) between Atlantic Avenue and Sands Street.
Last week, DOT revealed two proposals for repairing the 1.5-mile span. The first “traditional” option would have crews working incrementally lane by lane and would take about eight years or more and cost between $3.4 to $4 billion.
The second “innovative” option would address the triple cantilever portion of the BQE by demolishing the Brooklyn Heights Promenade and building a temporary six-lane elevated roadway in its place. This approach would cost between $3.2 to $3.6 billion and take approximately six years—with the temporary roadway taking approximately a year and a half to build, according to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.
While the second approach would reportedly offer the “greatest opportunity for safety, congestion reduction, noise and vibration reduction, connectivity, and aesthetic benefits,” it would also dramatically impact the community by taking away a popular outdoor public space and potentially displacing some residents living along the Promenade, according to the New York Post.
While traffic is diverted to the Promenade level above, crews will be able to work on the two levels below, according to DOT. This approach, according to the agency, would be completed two years faster and reduce the number of lane closures as well as traffic backup on local streets. The Promenade could be rebuilt wider, by approximately 35 feet, after the BQE work is completed.
Footage of the deteriorating structure supporting the BQE can be seen at News 12, which shows cracks in concrete, rusting metal, and more signs of aging.
If the “innovative” proposal gets the okay, the fate of Squibb Park, which sits between the BQE and Columbia Heights, is currently unknown, as is the proposed permanent swimming pool which Brooklyn Bride Park Conservancy hoped to build in the park by 2020, the Daily Eagle reports.
If repairs to the BQE are not completed by 2026, truck traffic would have to be limited and thousands of trucks traveling Brooklyn’s only interstate could be rerouted onto local roads.The BQE carries about 153,000 vehicles each day, and roughly 10% of that traffic is from trucks. Construction could begin in 2020 or 2021 with “substantial completion” estimated by 2026 (with temporary roadway) and 2028 or later (with incremental plan).
Earlier this year, the New York State Senate passed a bill allowing NYC to expedite the design-build phase for the much needed repair work to the BQE. The bill gives DOT permission to solicit one bid for both the design and construction phases of the project instead of soliciting two separate proposals for each part.
DOT will be hosting a series of Town Hall meetings on the project starting this Thursday, September 27 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at the National Grid Auditorium, 1 Metro Tech Center in Downtown Brooklyn.
Learn more about the BQE Project here.