Brooklyn groups advocate in Albany for BQE design build
by Benjamin Fang
Mar 13, 2018 | 1580 views | 0 0 comments | 108 108 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With the state budget deadline approaching, Brooklyn neighborhood associations went up to Albany last week to advocate for design-build for the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway rehabilitation project.

Supporters say design-build, a streamlined process that allows a single firm to design and manage construction for the $1.9 billion project, would save taxpayers $113 million and two years of construction.

But the city project to rebuild the triple cantilever portion in Brooklyn Heights can only be authorized by the state. If the authorization is not included in the state budget, due April 1, repairs would go beyond 2026, and 16,000 trucks would be forced onto local roads, officials warned.

“This project won’t be easy, but authorizing design-build is the first step to minimizing its impact,” said State Senator Brian Kavanagh, one of the legislators pushing for design-build. “Not authorizing design-build just doesn’t make sense. We’ll do everything we can to get this done by the end of the month.”

Earlier this month, Governor Andrew Cuomo indicated support for authorizing design-build for the rehab project. To ensure other state lawmakers are on board, neighborhood groups from Brooklyn Heights, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill, Gowanus and Park Slope all went up to Albany to advocate for the fast-track option.

Peter Bray, executive director of the Brooklyn Heights Association, said he was “heartened” to hear that Cuomo supports the authorization. Without design-build, he said, local streets will become more congested and neighborhoods would be harmed.

“The added congestion will imperil the health and safety of Brooklynites, and harm every business in the state and region that depends on the BQE for deliveries,” he said.
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