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Not In My Back Highway: Inside the Fight to Rebuild the BQE in Brooklyn Heights

As the Brookyn-Queens Expressway (BQE) approaches 80 years old, the city has to decide what to do with the triple cantilever. DOT recently determined that, within five years, the cantilever will become structurally unsound and unable to carry the current amount of traffic. The agency is mulling whether it should be repaired in stages, rebuilt completely or torn down and converted to an entirely different road shape, like a trench or a tunnel.

“This is the most challenging project not only in New York City but arguably in the United States right now,” said Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg during a contentious September 2018 meeting in Brooklyn Heights. “Dealing with the BQE is Hobbesian. If I could roll it back 70 years, I wouldn’t build a highway and put a playground and a park on top of it and all the other absurd things that were done with this highway.”

Commercial Observer

Photo: NYC DOT

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