In an August 23rd letter to Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, nine local lawmakers asked a series of questions about the BQE Expert Panel that the mayor convened in April.
“We are interested to learn more about the changes to the project’s timeline, scope and funding, as well as the ongoing involvement of state and federal agencies,” the legislators wrote.
The panel, chaired by Carlo Scissura of the New York Building Congress, is comprised of leaders in the labor, business and engineering fields.
They have been tasked with evaluating the various options to fix a crumbling portion of the BQE from Atlantic Avenue to Sands Street in Brooklyn.
The expert group is expected to submit a report outlining key recommendations to solving the problem.
In the letter, the lawmakers asked for a timeline for the project, as well as an explanation for funding or resources the group has received from state and federal agencies.
They also asked about the status of a DOT traffic study of ramp improvements for a “Unified Van Voorhees Park.”
Finally, the elected officials asked how DOT will be involved in analyzing capacity reduction from six lanes to four lanes on the BQE.
Comptroller Scott Stringer, one of the letter’s signatories, said in a statement that innovative proposals were put forth to fix the BQE, and residents offered input at a series of public meetings and forums.
Now the public needs answers and concrete next steps from the DOT, he said.
“I urge the DOT to continue to engage with the community and to not drag their feet,” Stringer said. “It is time to put words into action and get this project past the starting line.”
A DOT spokesperson said the agency intends to meet with elected officials to discuss their questions.
As for the timeline, DOT will await the recommendations of the expert panel, a spokesperson said.