WHAT’s GOING ON WITH THE BQE?
The BQE triple cantilever is nearly a quarter century beyond its design life, and to make matters worse, the wear-and-tear from 150,000 vehicles daily, road salt, and water penetration are accelerating its deterioration. Since ongoing repairs are costly, but do not address the highway’s initial design deficiencies, only major reconstruction will extend its life 50-75 years. Its reconstruction will take more than five years to complete starting in the 2020s at a cost of nearly $2 billion. NYCDOT has determined that by 2026 the segment from Atlantic Avenue to Sands Street, including the triple cantilever, will no longer support the weight of trucks. If the reconstruction is not completed by then, 16,000 trucks daily will have to be re-routed onto local streets. Their diversion will create massive traffic congestion and imperil the health and safety of residents throughout Brooklyn. An implementation approach, called Design-Build, which is in widespread use nationally, would allow the project to be completed before this diversion becomes necessary and at a significant cost savings. Its use must be authorized by the State legislature, which has not yet passed this measure. While the 75 year old BQE triple cantilever must be rebuilt, we must advocate for better temporary solutions.
The NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) began a 5-year planning process in Spring 2016 in preparation for rehabilitating the BQE Triple Cantilever. DOT expects construction to begin in 2021 or 2022 and be completed by 2026. To expedite the project and lower the cost, the City will seek authorization by the State Legislature for a design-build approach. While design options have yet to be fully formulated, DOT has ruled out as infeasible any of the tunnel options that were considered in an earlier round of planning.
The NYCDOT presentation of construction options from the September 27, 2018 BQE Project Update Meeting is available on DOT’s project website. The presentation includes narration and the complete videos of the proposed design options. You can also download their press packet.
Save the Brooklyn Heights Promenade
The Brooklyn Daily Eagle reports, "The city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) is backing a plan that would temporarily replace the famous Brooklyn Heights Promenade with a six-lane highway during the reconstruction of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE) between Atlantic Avenue and Sands." Street.(Read Article)
In addition to turning the Promenade into a highway, the Chapin playground and part of Columbia Heights (including several structures) would also be sacrificed. This would cut off important access to Dumbo and Brooklyn Bridge Park. The Promenade is a beloved place to stroll and enjoy the views of the harbor and lower Manhattan. It also acts as an important physical and vegetative barrier to the pollution created by the 150,000 cars and trucks that use the BQE daily. To replace it with a highway is completely unacceptable. It will change the peaceful nature of the neighborhood, increase noise and air pollution and damage the fragile historic homes in the neighborhood. We can not allow this to happen. Please sign and share the petition below. You do not need to live in Brooklyn to participate. The Promenade is important to locals and tourists alike. In addition, if you would like to be kept abreast of news, activity or want to volunteer, please visit savethepromenade.org.
Ways to Help
Contact Mayor de Blasio and our other elected officials and tell them you oppose DOT’s current options and demand better alternatives:
Daniel Abramson, Office of the Mayor
City Council Member Stephen Levin
NYS Senator Brian Kavanagh
NYS Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon
Request A Better Plan from DOT
Joannene Kidder, Chief of Staff & Executive Director of Community Affairs
Division of Bridges