Rehabilitating the BQE: “It’s going to be a mess.”

Residents of Brooklyn Heights have long complained about the trucks and vehicles that have used the neighborhood’s quiet streets as a detour to avoid the traffic on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

In five years, that traffic might get a whole lot worse.

On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the neighborhood may well see an onslaught of traffic and construction vehicles when work begins to rehabilitate the “crumbling” roadway, constructed in 1948.

“Few options are available for rerouting traffic. One alternative considered the last time the project was contemplated would have redirected traffic over what has since been transformed into Brooklyn Bridge Park. [Transportation commissioner Polly] Trottenberg said that option wasn’t on the table this time.

Diverting traffic onto the Belt Parkway isn’t feasible either. It can’t handle the weight of truck traffic and has clearances that are too low.”

Trottenberg characterized the project as “the city’s toughest transportation-project challenge,” which is why an earlier plan to work on the expressway was scuttled.

Read the full story at WSJ.


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  • Dalvec

    I wish they would place limitations on the hours that these enormous/loud trucks are permitted drive through our streets.

  • alexblac

    Toll reform now! #MoveNYC

  • Roberto Gautier

    Up to 17% of BQE traffic is composed of trucks. It’s doubtful that most of them are equipped with adequate pollution controls. In addition, even though OSHA regulations permit disconnection of motion alarms on construction vehicles IF contractors use flagger/spotters, try to name a single contractor, including ubiquitous Skanska, that wants to foot the bill for a new budget item. Residents near construction sites – and which neighborhood in NYC is not a construction site – are forced to endure the torture of “backup” alarms at all hours of the day and night. Areas of NYC have been forced to inhabit sleep-free zones for years. In addition, since it is now the policy of NYC government to issue thousands of permits for after-hours construction, masses of people in NYC have had their protections under the NYC Noise Code waived.

  • Greg

    What effect does all that pollution have on residents of the nearby streets? How far does the highway pollution spread into the overall neighborhood?

    I legitimately worry for the people who live practically over the highway. I can’t imagine that doesn’t have consequences.

  • SongBirdNYC

    Can’t speak for residents of Columbia Heights but Pierrepont playground is filthy and it’s definitely from BQE soot.

  • Andrew Doolittle

    The one thing done right is the reconnection of the freight rail link east of Manhattan. Good luck with this project though. The tunnel idea is interesting. Too bad all the money went into the LaGuardia Airport.