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BQE repairs must happen years sooner than expected

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Plus, NYCHA is the city’s worst landlord for second year in a row—and more intel in today’s New York Minute news roundup

The triple cantilever section of the Brooklyn-Queens Express in Brooklyn Heights.
Max Touhey

Good morning, and welcome to New York Minute, a new roundup of the New York City news you need to know about today. Send stories you think should be included to tips@curbed.com.

Crumbling BQE may need traffic reductions sooner than expected

A 1.5-mile stretch of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway from Atlantic Avenue to Sands Street may need repairs as soon as 2021, members of an expert panel convened by Mayor Bill de Blasio told the Wall Street Journal.

The city’s Department of Transportation unveiled two controversial plans to reconstruct the deteriorating road in 2018. Those proposals were borne out of necessity; officials have stressed that the expressway has deteriorated to such a degree that the city would need to place weight restrictions on it by 2026—or close the expressway altogether by 2036—if nothing is done.

But the 16-member panel, which was formed in April, has conducted research in recent months finding that the cantilevered section is deteriorating faster than officials initially expected. Some panelists fear the cantilever could become unsafe within five years, the WSJ reports. The panel’s forthcoming report, which was supposed to be released over the summer but is now expected in January, will likely recommend weight restrictions on large trucks and call for repairs to begin in 2021.

And in other news...

  • For the second year in a row, the New York City Housing Authority is the city’s worst landlord, according to the public advocate’s office.
  • Speaking of NYCHA, the now-notorious lead and repair scandals at the embattled housing authority began under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s mayoral administration.
  • A contractor’s bankruptcy filing has delayed the already stalled $250 million luxury housing complex, known as Lighthouse Point, in St. George.
  • Select Bus Service on the 14th Street busway is steadily rising, new ridership data shows. MTA officials chalk the increases up to camera enforcement cracking down on scofflaw drivers blocking the corridor’s bus lanes.
  • In other busway news, the MTA has rolled out its first all-electric bus fleet to the 14th Street busway.
  • And, finally, for your viewing pleasure, here’s a side-by-side of how little the Brooklyn Bridge has changed in more than a century, courtesy of Urban Archive: