BQE Panel report will be released in coming weeks
by Benjamin Fang
Jan 15, 2020 | 2066 views | 0 0 comments | 177 177 recommendations | email to a friend | print
An expert panel assembled by the mayor to figure out how to best fix a crumbling portion of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE) will soon release its final report.

In a message sent to followers of the project, panel chair Carlo Scissura, who is also the president and CEO of the New York Building Congress, said the panel is concluding its work.

“The panel has been hard at work on its final report and recommendations,” he wrote, “and we will ensure that elected officials, community groups and stakeholders have an opportunity to be briefed on the report in the coming weeks.”

The panel was convened last April after Brooklyn Heights residents overwhelmingly rejected the Department of Transportation (DOT)’s original plan to fix the 1.5-mile stretch of the BQE, which included temporarily converting the popular promenade into a six-lane highway.

Elected officials and community groups have come up with their own proposals. Comptroller Scott Stringer’s plan calls for only rehabilitating the lower level of the bridge, and converting it into a truck-only thruway with one lane in each direction.

The remaining roadway would be converted into a two-mile linear park leading into Red Hook.

The Brooklyn Heights-based firm Marc Wouters Studios came up with its own proposal to create a separate two-level temporary highway parallel to the existing triple-cantilever on the BQE.

Other proposals include the “Tri-Line” plan, and the “Brooklyn-Queens Park,” conceived by the design firm Bjarke Ingels Group.

The panel’s task was to evaluate all of the options to replace the aging highway from Atlantic Avenue to Sands Street. It was supposed to produce a report over the summer.

But according to reports, a draft of the panel’s report recommended creating yet another panel, this time made up of local, state and federal representatives, to come up with a solution.

The draft also reportedly called for cutting traffic volumes to prolong the life of the triple-cantilever on the highway.

Mayor Bill de Blasio was asked about the draft report on WNYC’s “The Brian Lehrer Show” on Friday.

“Let’s see the whole thing and judge when we all get to look at it,” he said.

The mayor added that the panel has “done some good work” and found interesting options, but he wants to see the full report first.

“Let’s see the report and then we’ll act from there,” he said.
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