BQE Will Be Under Construction Forever: State Cancels Funding For Alternatives To Fix Roadway
There's no money to make significant changes to the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, The New York Times reports, and it seems the much-maligned roadway will forever remain the bane of the two boros it connects.
In order to save $6 million, New York state last month canceled two environmental studies examining the construction of tunnels, and rebuilding sections of the highway in Brooklyn Heights.
And without a grand solution, the road will likely remain in a state of perpetual dysfunction with potholes, constant construction, lane closures, and endless traffic.
"The perception of the public that the road is always under construction is accurate," Denise M. Richardson, the executive director of the General Contractors Association of New York, told The Times. "Because what happens is, we have to close a lane, fix the lane, open the lane, and repeat the cycle."
Earlier this year, the state legislature voted to approve $1 billion in funding to create the New York Works Infrastructure Fund. $300 million was set aside for New York City projects. In December, State Senator Daniel Squadron asked Albany in a last ditch attempt that some of the NYWIF money go towards the troubled 16.5 mile highway. From The Brooklyn Eagle:
"The BQE is years past due for structural work, and as one of the most heavily trafficked roads in the country, it impacts the safety and quality of life of millions, including the dense neighborhoods through which it runs," Squadron wrote in a letter to Cuomo on Dec. 8.
"To stop the rehabilitation process now would be penny-wise and pound-foolish, especially after years of work and millions of dollars that have already gone into the [Environmental Impact Study]," Squadron wrote.
He estimated that it would take $6 million to complete the EIS and said it represents only “a small portion” of the $300 million that is being set aside for New York City projects.
But alas, Squadron's efforts were to no avail.