The Brooklyn Heights Promenade could be closed for six years under a construction plan to repair the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, known as the BQE.
New York City Department of Transportation officials unveiled on Thursday two construction options for replacing a run-down 1.5 mile stretch of the BQE from Atlantic Avenue to Sands Street.
Since the Brooklyn Heights Promenade — a 1,826-foot-long scenic pedestrian walkway — is constructed over the BQE, officials say any construction to that portion of Interstate 278 would impact the promenade and the surrounding Brooklyn Heights community. Here’s a look at the two options DOT officials laid out.
BQE Repair Option 1, which shutters the Brooklyn Heights Promenade
The first option DOT officials detailed was dubbed the “innovative approach.” Under this, city officials would build a new temporary elevated roadway above the BQE at the current height of the Brooklyn Heights Promenade.
This temporary highway would be six lanes in order to handle all BQE traffic.
Officials say this plan would have the shortest overall construction time, with the fewest full-weekend closures and overnight lane closures. Still, it would still take at least six years, and much of the Brooklyn Heights Promenade would need to be closed during that construction.
Officials say this will option is a way to build a safer highway in the end as well as add in some innovations that better the surrounding area. Those living adjacent to the BQE would benefit from minimized noise and reduced vibrations, officials say, and the Brooklyn Heights Promenade could actually come out of this construction project about 35 feet wider than before.
This option would cost between $3.2 and $3.6 billion, per DOT.
BQE Repair Option 2
The second, or “traditional,” construction option involves fixing the BQE lane by lane, rather than all at once.
Officials anticipate an eight or more year construction time for this plan, though they note that “cost and on-time completion” are less certain with this method.
To repaire the BQE lane by lane, the city will have to rely more on overnight lane closures (which means lots of noise) for about 4.5 years and more full-weekend route closures (about 24 in total, officials say).
This plan avoids the most “dramatic” impacts to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, but will affect more area residents and drivers for a longer period of time, per the DOT. It’s expected to cost between $3.4 and $4 billion.