The city is clearing the path for the $2.7 billion Brooklyn-Queens Connector to move forward, albeit slowly.
Members of the Economic Development Corporation were expected to approve a contract for a consultant that would oversee the environmental review for the light-rail project on Wednesday, according to the Wall Street Journal. The contract went through at 10 a.m., and the land-use and planning consultant VHB was awarded it for up to $7.2 million.
The contract should allow the environmental review for the streetcar to be finished in spring 2020, clearing the way for a land-use review to be finished by the end of 2021.
City officials unveiled the streetcar plan in 2016, and it has had a rocky rollout since then. Last year, they indicated that the project would have a shorter route and be more expensive than previously expected, and the project’s former director Adam Giambrone stepped down in October.
The streetcar will also need roughly $1 billion in federal funding, and construction will not start until 2024, two years after Mayor Bill de Blasio’s term ends.
Outgoing Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen told the Journal that the city remained committed to the project.
“For some reason, everybody thinks we are not serious, but we have always been serious,” she said. “The mayor wouldn’t have re-endorsed and announced we were moving forward if we weren’t moving forward.” [WSJ] – Eddie Small