The New York City Council has published their Future of the BQE report in response to the NYCDOT’s “Innovative Plan.” Partnering with engineering and design firm Arup, they present two alternative recommendations.
Below is a breakdown highlighting key components:
Scenario 1 – A Capped Highway
- This scenario would reconstruct the highway at-grade and then capped with an expansion of Brooklyn Bridge Park. This plan would cost around $3.6 billion.
Scenario 2 – Tunnel Bypass with Surface Boulevard
- This scenario would create a bypass tunnel from the Gowanus Expressway to Bedford Avenue in South Williamsburg, allowing for the reconstruction of the BQE from Cobble Hill to Clinton Hill as a surface street and new open space. This plan would cost roughly $3.2 billion.
In order to successfully implement an infrastructure solution while prioritizing immediate fixes, the Council recommends the following as next steps:
- Albany should pass legislation by June 2020 that establishes a governing body – this body would identify City and State partners and goals addressing transportation, community engagement, the public, and sustainability.
- The new governing body must work swiftly – they would need to assess alternatives (pricing schemes and other demand management strategies), work to integrate current work with the long-term vision, and create guidelines and standards that help the community respond to replacement schemes.
- Maintain and monitor safe operations of the triple cantilever – they must work with State elected officials on enforcement of technology relating to overweight vehicles and follow the Mayor’s Panel recommendation to convert the roadway to two-lanes in both directions.
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