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BQE rehab’s On deck - Work to jibe with park plans

Much needed infrastructure work on the triple cantilever section of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway in Downtown Brooklyn doesn’t appear likely to affect the development of the Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Peter King, the state Department of Transportation regional planning and program manager, said all the BQE work will be done in coordination with the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation (BBPDC).

“We met with (BBPDC President) Regina Myer and began conversations about the real need to coordinate without stepping on the toes of each other,” King told Community Board 2 Transportation Committee members last week.

The main of the cantilever includes the Brooklyn Promenade on the top tier, the eastbound BQE on the middle level and the westbound BQE on the lower level.

Below these three tiers is Furman Street, the gateway to Brooklyn Bridge Park.

In total, the reconstruction project will run about 1.5 miles between Atlantic Avenue and Sands/Nassau Streets, King said.

King said all told, the cantilever project involves a number of engineering complexities in that it will include 21 bridges/overpasses and 300,000 square feet of decking.

It also includes reconfigurations on narrow “choke points,” ramps to and from the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, subway coordination and adjacent large buildings, he said.

King said an in-depth inspection found infrastructure deterioration, especially at the joints of the structure, which was built between 50-60 years ago, and that corrective action would be required by 2018.

Kings said there will be a public scoping process in 6 or 7 weeks, followed by alternative analysis and both draft and final Environmental Impact Statements.

A final design is expected in 2015 followed by the start of construction in 2018 and a completion date expected in 2023, he said.

King said the work is expected to be done in phases so as to cause as little traffic delays as possible.

The Brooklyn Bridge Park completion date is expected in 2012 – well before the expected starting date for the BQE cantilever project

CB 2 District Manager Robert Perris said people need to realize People need to realize the length of the process for the BQE project to take before even work starts.

“We’re talking just two years to scope and another four years to prepare the EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) and analyze design alternatives, and another three years in design. So we are looking at construction staring no earlier than 2018. That’s a decade from now,” said Perris.

Marianna Koval, President of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, said the organization will work closely with both the State DOT and the BBPDC on coordinating the two projects.

“Though this project is 7-10 years from beginning, we need to minimize any negative construction impacts upon Brooklyn Bridge Park,” said Koval.

“We also see the reconstruction as an opportunity to bring real benefits to Brooklyn Bridge Park by incorporating innovative sound attenuation into the BQE’s roadway and by including structural changes needed for a possible pedestrian tunnel from the park to the Clark Street subway station,” she added.

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