BQE far from being buried

March 31, 2011 02:46PM

The Brooklyn-Queens Expressway

The crumbling Brooklyn-Queens Expressway will probably not be transformed into a tunnel despite local residents’ best efforts, according to the Brooklyn Paper. The BQE fails to meet federal highway standards, is accident prone and has elicited the state to appointed a citizen’s committee to help plan a huge repair. But the Department of Transportation does not have access to the estimated $2.2 billion needed to push the tunnel underground, officials said. The agency has not ruled out a tunnel, but given budget restraints will likely resort to cheaper surface improvements along the worst stretches of the highway, including that between Atlantic Avenue and Sands Street. Though those minor repairs would save brownstones that would otherwise be wiped out during construction, residents scoff at the proposed upgrades. “I thought we were talking about the future,” Bill Harris, a member of the repair committee, said. “I thought we were trying to be visionary here, to try to do this so we didn’t have to do it again in another 30 or 40 years from now.” But until the city receives more money from gas receipts, local, state and federal money, such an overhaul appears out of reach. [Brooklyn Paper]