The Daily News reports that Alphonso David, counsel to Governor Andrew Cuomo, in a letter to City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, has said that the Governor is eager to sponsor approval of a procedure called “design/build” for the needed reconstruction of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway below Brooklyn Heights. Failure to provide such authorization would greatly extend the length of time to complete the project, and its expense. It could also cause the diversion of truck and other traffic to Brooklyn Heights streets.
So, what’s the problem with getting the Governor and the Legislature to approve this? According to David’s letter, it’s that the City has bundled its request for BQE design/build with design/build requests for two other projects: building new jails to replace Rikers and renovation of NYCHA housing. If each were presented individually, David wrote, the Governor would support them, and they would have a better chance of legislative approval.
Why, then does the Governor want projects, all of which he supports, presented à la carte instead of table d’hôte? For the Governor, I suspect, it’s to emphasize his and the legislature’s stranglehold on almost all city decisions, forcing the mayor and council to get state approval on virtually everything of substance. For the legislators, I believe, it’s to allow more scope for “horse trading”; e.g. “I’ll vote for your design/build on the BQE provided you vote for funding for my Waffle Iron Museum.”