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City to consider BQE revamp alternatives after community outcry

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The alternative plan is being pushed forward by City Council member Stephen Levin and Brooklyn Heights residents

A yellow cab, a red truck, and several other cars driving on the Brooklyn Heights section of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway. Max Touhey

A proposal that wouldn’t shutter the Brooklyn Heights Promenade for six years to facilitate repairs on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway will be taken into consideration by city officials, Mayor Bill de Blasio said last week. The New York Post first reported on the admission, which the mayor made during his weekly appearance on WNYC.

This particular proposal is being pushed forward by City Council member Stephen Levin and Brooklyn Heights residents. As part of this plan, vehicles traveling on the stretch that needs to be repaired, would be diverted to a temporary road below the BQE, along a berm that was built to reduce traffic sounds. During his WNYC appearance on Friday, the Mayor said his administration was committed to fully evaluating this alternative.

The city’s Department of Transportation has proposed two plans to fix the deteriorating, 1.5 mile section between Atlantic Avenue and Sands Street. The first would see the construction of an elevated roadway on the promenade, shuttering the pedestrian space for up to six years while the problematic section of the BQE is fixed. The second would see lane by lane repairs on that section of the BQE, but could prove far more costly, and take eight years or more, according to the city. The city’s preferred method has been denounced by local residents, and the other alternative didn’t fare all that well either.

Construction isn’t expected to get underway for at least two more years, and the city plans to host several more public meetings on their plans before that.