Designers Propose Changes To BQE In Brooklyn

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Plans to reduce the great divide caused by the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in one part of Brooklyn are now a reality, but as CBS 2HD’s Magee Hickey reports, three big questions remain.

At issue is what to do about a deep trench caused by the BQE where it slices through the neighborhoods of Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill and the Columbia Street Waterfront District.

At a community meeting Monday night, designers unveiled three possible ways to fix the ditch that would include reducing noise, improving safety and making this grim area just a little bit prettier.

The first and least expensive proposal, according to the Brooklyn Newspaper, would be to plant 412 trees and an acre of greenery along the BQE-created chasm, making it perhaps one of the greenest parts of Brooklyn.

The cost is estimated at $10 million.

Proposal number two involves building six lightweight bicycle and pedestrian bridges over the ditch at a price tag of between $20 and $45 million.

The most expensive plan is an $85 million energy-generating latticed, steel canopy. The so-called “green canopy” along the entire cavern from Atlantic to Hamilton Avenue would shield the view of traffic, reduce noise and create its energy from the sun.

One City transportation official said the biggest challenge would be finding the money to pay for and maintain the project.

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  • Michael H.

    Why don’t they finish the never ending construction on the BQE/Gowanus before they dive into yet another project that will snarl traffic for years to come. I cannot remember a time in my life where the massive construction effort on the BQE/Gowanus was not underway. That’s nearly 3 decades, without an end in sight.

  • valerie

    Not sure where they would put these tress, as there are just 2 lanes of traffic on Hicks St along the trench. And then what will happen when all those leaves start falling onto the roadway below and creating a mess of wetness? Who will be cleaning that up? BAD IDEA!

  • lc

    Complete waste of money. The city can spend the money better then this!

  • valerie

    I live right by the trench and I have no problem with noise. I think they should stop talking about spending money they don’t have!

  • JIM


  • Pete Doyle

    “,the only thing cut off from the neighborhood by the BQE is the waterfront which is industrial use”
    That is not quite accurate…….it may have been so thirty years ago but the area has changed and continues to do so. Except for the actual shore/dockline itself along Van Brunt Street, the entire area between Congress Street and Woodhull is primarily residential. As I write this, at least two new and quite large residential buildings are nearing completion. Times have changed.

  • pat

    This is going to be a huge money pit that will rivalthe traffic pit itself. But since we live in the world of political correctness and if you don’t ‘Go Green” you will have protesters up the ying yang i’m sure our spineless politicians will cut each other throats to make this a law, especially after they buy tons of stock in the companies that suppy the “GREEN” technolgies. A perfect use of the “slush fund” money hey Christine?

  • anders

    I know of the promenade area from recreational use only. It seems that in this area near the waterfront,the only thing cut off from the neighborhood by the BQE is the waterfront which is industrial use. Why make changes to connect this area -some areas need to remain industrial. we cant give away all port areas to recreation. The view from the highway heading south is spectacular, as is the promenade. Perfect combination of recreational(promenade) with industrial below.

    Dont need any kind of tunnel to cover this, but trees are always good.They can do a lot to reduce noise. As long as nothing touches the promenade.

    Does this sound about right?

    • Michael H.

      The article only uses the image from the Promenade as illustration. The project mentioned in the article would address what is know as “the trench” where the BQE dips below street level from Hamilton Ave to Atlantic Ave, just prior to the Promenade.

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