BQE Rehab Progress Report

Plans are underway for the rehabilitation of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, and much progress has been made since the public scoping meetings back in June. At last night’s Technical Advisory Committee meeting, project manager Peter King discussed some of the proposals for what could happen along the BQE.King said that because it is so early in the process (construction probably won’t begin before 2018), the work could vary from a simple upgrade and maintenance of the existing triple cantilever to a project as ambitious as replacing the section with a tunnel.

King said that it was likely that the current project area, which currently covers the BQE from Sands Street to Atlantic Avenue, would be extended further south to Hamilton Avenue to better connect the project to the Gowanus Expressway and the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel.

The alternate ideas to maintaining the existing structure are varied, and could include a tunnel that runs the current path of the BQE, or even one that ran under Downtown Brooklyn. A tunnel, however,  would be particularly difficult because five subway tunnels run under the triple cantilever section of the expressway.

Another proposal would be a non-expressway replacement, similar to what was done to the West Side Highway in Manhattan. During the question section, it was maintained that the Brooklyn Heights Promenade would not be at risk, as it is included as part of the historic district. Additionally, committee members reiterated the importance that the project not be staged in the developing Brooklyn Bridge Park.

The next full meeting will be a Stakeholder’s Advisory Committee meeting on December 2, at St. Francis College.

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