The Brooklyn Heights Association has reported that, in his strongest statement yet on the Brooklyn Queens Expressway reconstruction plans, Carlo Scissura, chair of the panel studying the issue, said the Department of Transportation’s “innovative” proposal to build a temporary six lane highway in the location of the Brooklyn Heights Promenade “has very little chance of being approved.” According to the BHA, he also made it clear that “any temporary alternatives encroaching on Brooklyn Bridge Park would face similar obstacles and would not be approved, thus removing the temporary parallel bypass at the eastern edge of the park – the BHA/Wouters alternative – from consideration.”
The BHA release also includes a link to the BQE Panel Update dated June 27, 2019. The Update includes the following on page 14:
There may be a need for a temporary alternative route during what may 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 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.
Keep in mind that the panel’s report, which can be expected “in early fall” of this year (page 20 of the Update), is advisory only; while it should be very influential on the DOT and other interested agencies, there is no assurance that its recommendations will be followed.
Update: The Eagle’s Mary Frost reports on Scissura’s statement, also offering some pertinent quotations. City Council Speaker Corey Johnson told the Eagle, “I look forward to working with the residents of these neighborhoods and others to find a smart 21st-century solution to the BQE problem.” Cobble Hill Association President Amy Breedlove said, “There is an opportunity to make the BQE a connector and not a divider as it has been historically.” Outgoing BHA Executive Director Peter Bray said
From the vantage point of the Brooklyn Heights Association, the tremendous focus brought by the community and the organizational efforts of the Brooklyn Heights Association and A Better Way NYC really paid tremendous dividends….It certainly makes it easier to leave at this point knowing we’re in a much better position than we were a year ago.