The city wants to make the BQE a better neighbor by covering up the section that passes by Brooklyn Heights.
Transportation officials unveiled three conceptual plans Tuesday for the redesign of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway section under its control.
All three designs put forward by the city would cover the roadway while providing ample pedestrian access from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade above to Brooklyn Bridge Park on the water’s edge below.
The city says the designs have been developed with ongoing community input. A Department of Transportation spokesperson said community members have consistently prioritized access to pedestrian thoroughfares and downtown transit nodes.
“These bold concepts reflect the wealth of feedback we’ve received from New Yorkers on how they want to reimagine BQE Central, with beautiful public spaces, safer bike and pedestrian connections and improved access to local parks,” Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez said in a statement.
“We are excited to continue refining these concepts as part of our urgent efforts to deliver a long-term fix for the city-owned portion of the BQE in Brooklyn,” he added.
Two of the designs — dubbed “The Terraces” and “The Lookout” — can be built with a partial replacement of the underlying cantilever, DOT officials said.
“The Stoop,” a design which would bring the BQE’s northbound and southbound lanes to the same elevation before covering them with a large extension of the Promenade, would require a full replacement of the highway’s structure.
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All of the designs can work with either a three-lane or two-lane plan for the highway.
The portion of the highway that snakes under Brooklyn Heights is to undergo long overdue repairs to its overlapping roadways.
The number of lanes in the rebuilt highway will require further study, officials said, pushing back the planned environmental review to fall 2023.
The BQE is one of the city’s most-traveled arteries, carrying 150,000 vehicles and 15,000 trucks per day.
The highway’s triple cantilever structure, which dates to the 1950s, was meant to minimize the BQE’s disruptive effects in Brooklyn Heights.
Local pols have called upon the state Transportation Department, which controls the remainder of the highway, to use the city’s pending redesign as an opportunity to address its ill effects in less affluent parts of the borough.
Rodriguez’s office said in a Tuesday statement that it was committed to reconnecting communities split by the state-managed portion of the highway, though no details on those projects were provided.
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