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Activists Upset About Decision To Scrap Gowanus, BQE Makeovers

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Traffic on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. (credit: Michael Nagle/Getty Images)

Traffic on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. (credit: Michael Nagle/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — Drivers who use the Gowanus and Brooklyn-Queens expressways got some bad news on Wednesday.

State and federal transportation officials announced they have killed the project due to the economic downturn.

Plans to renovate a 1 1/2 mile portion of the BQE would have cost $280 million. A more ambitious proposal to put the BQE underground via tunnel would have cost $20 billion.

The Gowanus Expressway replacement project ranged from $2 to $15 billion.

Proponents of the project said that increased traffic has prompted a number of complaints from homeowners in the area. They argue if the construction isn’t completed, the problems will simply get worse.

Cobble Hill activist Roy Sloane told 1010 WINS on Wednesday that he is stunned by the Department of Transportation‘s reversal.

“We were shocked to get a note saying ‘well we’ve just decided to abandon the project’ with no further information about how they do plan on maintaining the safety of the highway,” he said.

The nearly four-mile rehab of the Gowanus from 6th Avenue to the Brooklyn-Battery tunnel is also being scrapped.

“We are certainly going to speak to our local elected officials and find out what they have done to advocate for a 21st Century solution to transportation issues in downtown Brooklyn — especially regarding the BQE,” Sloane said.

What are your thoughts on the decision to stop the construction projects?  Share your thoughts in the comments section below…

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