NEW YORK (PIX11) — For years, commuters, neighbors and officials have discussed the future of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.
It is one of the busiest stretches of roadway in New York City for vehicle and freight travel.
Monday at Pratt Institute, people gathered for a special series that focuses on design equity. The first session focused on transportation equity and the BQE.
Panelist Tiffany-Ann Taylor, vice president for transportation with Regional Plan Association, said the city does not have the luxury of time.
“There are things that need to be done. How can we revise the stretch of roadway, how can we use the water and to get goods to us in a number of ways,” she said.
Engineers have been concerned about its structural support, especially in the area, known as the cantilever, which runs through Brooklyn Heights.
Monitoring and stabilization projects have been constructed. A lane of travel was removed to reduce weight in 2021.
The next official in-person BQE workshop sponsored by NYC DOT is Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022, at 6:30 p.m. at New York City College of Technology.
Click here to see other in-person and virtual sessions through the spring.
Reviews and the design process could last another three years.
“We have once-in-a-generation access to federal infrastructure funds, and we will seize this opportunity to start rebuilding this vital transportation artery,” said Mayor Eric Adams.
The city says it will create a community-driven plan for a safe, modern, resilient roadway.
In 2018, a public process began and presented two ideas. One would have created a temporary roadway in place of the Brooklyn Promenade or along Furman Street.
At that time, the estimate was at the project could’ve taken between six and eight years.
Former NYC DOT Commissioner Hank Gutman also spoke at the Pratt event. He helped develop some of the repair projects underway.
“When I became commissioner, I was astonished that we were not making effective use of what were the city’s original highways, the rivers and harbor,” he said.
Frances Bronet is the president of Pratt Institute
“What can transportation do to knit community together or split it apart? These are critical issues for us,” she said.
Ongoing discussions with stakeholders, officials, neighbors and commuters have included proposals for marine shipping barges and docks.
The height of bridges is being looked at along other parkways to give trucks other options.
The city is also set to begin in the coming weeks the weighing and issuing of fines for overweight trucks. New scales are set to be installed at points along the BQE.