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Much Hand Wringing After Brooklyn-Queens Expressway Replacement Plans Announced

New York City Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg compared the project to replace a section of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in Brooklyn heights as New York's "Big Dig."
September 24, 2018, 6am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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New York City
Kenneth Summers

"On Thursday afternoon, the New York City Department of Transportation presented two plans for replacing the crumbling, 1.5-mile section of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway that passes through Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO and supports the beloved Brooklyn Promenade," reports Dana Rubinstein.

"Option one, the 'innovative' choice that city officials clearly prefer, would take six years (instead of eight-plus) and result in less appalling traffic nightmares. During construction, however, officials would build a six-lane highway adjacent to the Brooklyn Promenade," according to Rubinstein.

According to Rubinstein, "option two, the 'traditional approach,' will cost more, take longer, result in fewer long-term community benefits and require the permanent erection of a roadway directly above Furman Street. It is also likely to result in significantly more traffic, with many more trucks spilling over onto local streets."

Rubinstein provides more details on the construction measures each option entails, and notes an increasing price tag for the project—from an initial estimate of $1.7 billion in 2016, to today's $3 billion.

The day after the announcement of the proposed alternatives, the story took a somewhat surprising turn. MTA Chairman Joe Lhota, whose agency is faced with a protracted shut down of a key subway link between Brooklyn and Manhattan in addition to numerous other infrastructure and service challenges, took to Twitter to voice displeasure with the possibility that the BQE might be shut down for six years. Here's the tweet Lhota has since deleted:

Dana Rubinstein wrote another article examining Lhota's statement. The lede is as snarky as it gets: "MTA Chairman Joe Lhota, whose subway system continues to founder, has finally encountered a piece of news terrible enough to turn him into an activist."

Full Story:
Published on Thursday, September 20, 2018 in Politico New York
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