City’s BQE proposals unlikely to be approved, experts say

In question: The city’s controversial plans to rebuild the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway bit-by-bit or construct a six-lane highway on top of the Brooklyn Heights Promenade may be scrapped, according to an expert panel convened by Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Brooklyn Paper
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Two of the most controversial schemes to repair the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway will likely be tossed, according to the head of an expert panel overseeing the project.

A 16-person panel Mayor Bill de Blasio convened to study the repairs of the roadway’s crumbling triple-cantilever told local stakeholders and elected officials in June that the Department of Transporta­tion’s plans had little chance, and that the agency should explore other proposals.

“There may be a need for a temporary alternative route during what could be a six to ten-year construction period, but the alternatives proposed by the city Department of Transportation present very serious issues with very little chance of being approved; other alternatives should be explored,” the presentation reads.

Local residents and several pols came out against the agency’s proposals from last September to either rebuild the stretch of roadway between Atlantic Avenue and Sands Street bit by bit, or construct a six-lane highway on top of the beloved Brooklyn Heights Promenade during the reconstruction, which could last up to a decade, according to the department.

De Blasio announced the formation of his BQE panel in April, and the experts have spent the last few months gathering input from city agencies and community organizations, and is expected formulate its recommendation this fall.

The Robert Moses-designed highway first opened in 1948, and surpassed its intended 50 year lifespan in 2008. The city’s timeline now is to start rerouting trucks in 2026, with a plan to shut it down completely by 2036 — 28 years after the roadway’s planned retirement date.

The BQE brain trust — which is chaired by Carlo Scissura, chief of the building industry advocacy group the New York Building Congress and previous head of the business advocacy group the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce — expressed misgivings about how DOT’s proposed temporary highway would intrude on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, a popular walkway that sits atop the highway’s cantilevered section, as well as the adjacent Brooklyn Bridge Park.

“The commission has serious concerns about the proposed highway and encroachment on the Promenade (other than to renovate and upgrade the promenade) or major incursion into the Brooklyn Bridge Park with a temporary highway,” the presentation read.

The panel also noted opportunities to reduce future planned highways from six to four lanes, including instituting a two-way toll on the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, the congestion pricing tax set to hit drivers heading into Manhattan in 2021, and adding high-occupancy vehicle lanes, which require motorists have at least one passenger to travel in.

The BQE panel has held 10 meetings since April and will now draft its recommendations. Its members would also like to meet with the community again before it issues its report, its presentation said.

Reach reporter Kevin Duggan at (718) 260–2511 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @kduggan16.
Posted 12:00 am, July 5, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

Hermione from Cobble Hill says:
Can someone please explain to me why none of the proposals contain sheltered bike lanes? ?
July 5, 2019, 7:11 am
Fascist Democrat from The Bolshevik Revolution says:
DiBozo doesn’t have time for these minor issues, he’s too busy campaigning for President, LOL, and hiding the hundreds of millions his ‘wife’ stole from the taxpayers!
July 5, 2019, 8:13 am
Frank from Furter says:
They already exist in brooklyn bridge park. The bq park plan did make room for more.
July 5, 2019, 12:51 pm
Bob from Gerritsen Beach says:
Mayor Deblasio will never fund a project of this size knowing he won't be around when it's completed to take the credit. So it looks like you guys are screwed. Many years to go they wanted to alleviate the big 18 wheeler's coming off the Staten Island bridge which would destroy the BQE because they were never designed to accommodate such traffic. What was supposed to be done at the time was to build a tunnel from Staten Island to 64th St. in Brooklyn to accommodate the 18 wheelers and then put containers on trains through Long Island track system and to Queens and Long Island alleviating all that truck traffic through the city. Well it never happened and this is the results. 10 years ago the city could have put a temporary road over the dilapidated docks system but now that's too late because it was completely renovated and gentrified. I can't imagine a conceivable way of building a temporary road that can accommodate 60,000 pound vehicles.
July 5, 2019, 12:57 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Maybe it was because none of them looked realistic let alone feasible.
July 5, 2019, 1:43 pm
Frank from Furter says:
Temporary roadways that can support all traffic including trucks are built all the time. They are not some far out technically difficult roadway. They built one between the kosciasako and the navy yard when they rehabed that section.
July 5, 2019, 6:22 pm
Bob from Gerritsen Beach says:
Frank I'm not an engineer in fact the only thing I've ever built was a small shed in my backyard but I've been watching the repairs on the elevated BQE since they built the bridge to Staten Island and haven't stopped in 40 years. And they will continue for numerous reasons. Third Avenue is mostly fill-in from the fourth Avenue subway underground so the road surface isn't that great to begin with. I actually driven on the BQE before the bridge was built it was a two-lanes in each direction with the grassy knoll in the middle. No commercial traffic was allowed. That's all changed now except the integrity of the roads. I'm not familiar with the area you were talking about but was the temporary road elevated? I also believe this area is too densely populated and just no room to do anything but shut down the road and have the people live through hell for the next five years. I remember the W. Side Hwy. below 57th St. also crumbling and the city finally did something when a cement truck actually fell through the elevated section onto the road below. So they closed it down and dismantled it altogether.
July 6, 2019, 11:23 am
Tooney from Staten Island says:
These dumbos just gotta take “da ferry”!!! Ha ha ha!!! Ha ha ha!!! ROTFL!!! LMASSOFF!!!
July 6, 2019, 5:30 pm
Frank from Furter says:
The Miller highway-which was the elevated highway on the west side was never built for trucks. So a truck riding in itcwas never supposed to be there. But you can build any highway temporary or permanent to hold trucks. Its a matter of proper planning construction and cost. A class 60 timber trestle can be built to hold 60000 lb truck even of wood. It requires proper foundation. But it can be built there.
July 6, 2019, 7:40 pm
Bob from Gerritsen Beach says:
Ofcourse Frank you are correct they can build elevated roadways that can accommodate 18 wheelers. I probably didn't make myself clear enough when I meant I don't see that happening at that location. The logistics just can't accommodate an elevated roadway without destroying numerous structures beneath between Atlantic Avenue and the Brooklyn Bridge. Also the affluent people that live on the promenade couldn't care less about the BQE and only find it a noisy polluted nuisance that doesn't serve them any benefit at all. So I think they'll resist everything the city suggests anyway.
July 7, 2019, 3:35 pm
Frank from Furter says:
I have attended every meeting on the bqe. The plan proposed by the brooklyn heights people you disparage has exactly the bypass on Furman street you call impossible. It would destroy no structures. It would impinge on the berm but not destroy it. It has other issues but not one you mention. 157000 cars and trucks use this section of the bar everyday.They will have to go somewhere.One of the possible solutions would be to allow them to use the belt parkway..which I wouldn't recommend.
July 7, 2019, 5:57 pm
Frank from Furter says:
Btw the Brooklyn heights association by pass plan was presented by traffic engineers. They recognize the need to rebuild this section. The city's plan would destroy the Brooklyn heights promenade but would rebuild it after the bqe was rehabed. It's the city's plan that the panel apparently rejected. But I was present at the meeting and the panel admitted it didn't have the final say. Although it's clear the city will have to do something else..But a temporary roadway on furman street is still in the table.
July 7, 2019, 6:09 pm
Frank from Furter says:
One more more about a tunnel. There are 5 subway tunnels between Manhattan and Brooklyn 4 of which go under this section of the bqe. The Mta has enough problems and will not permit and digging under or around its tunnels.
July 7, 2019, 6:23 pm
Ro from Park Slope says:
Less lanes, really? Are there less people (or less cars) in South Brooklyn? As for bike lanes, use Brooklyn Bridge Park and stay away from the BQE--for your own safety! Every neighborhood along the highway has had to endure BQE improvements. Now, it's simply this neighborhood's turn. Figure it out, while serving the needs of the entire city.
July 8, 2019, 9:53 am

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