Brook-Krasny wants name change for Interstate 278
Assemblymember Alec Brook-Krasny, whose district includes the U.S. Army Garrison at Fort Hamilton, is pushing to have the portion of Interstate 278 that is located within Brooklyn to be named in honor of military veterans.
Brook-Krasny (D-Bay Ridge-Coney Island) introduced legislation last week calling on the New York State to rename the Brooklyn portion of Interstate 278 the “Brooklyn Veterans Memorial Highway.”
Interstate 278 runs from New Jersey to New York and includes the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and the Gowanus Expressway along portions of its 35.6-mile route.
Brook-Krasny noted that one end of the Brooklyn portion of the highway contains the U.S. Army Garrison at Fort Hamilton and the other end contains the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
“Fort Hamilton has special significance for me as the only active military base in New York City. The central role it plays in my district, and in Brooklyn, should be visible for those who drive by it every day. As a community, we should always give back to those who have given so much to us,” Brook-Krasny said in a statement.
The two major installations located along the Interstate 278 corridor in Brooklyn have played important roles in the development of the nation’s history, Brook-Krasny noted.
The harbor defense around the area now known as Fort Hamilton defended the young United States from the British Navy in the American Revolution and the War of 1812. The Brooklyn Navy Yard was a construction site for Robert Fulton’s steamship Fulton, as well for the USS Missouri, the battleship on which the Japanese surrendered at the end of World War II.
New York City does not have any designated highways specifically recognizing veterans or service members, Brook-Krasny said. His proposed legislation seeks to change that, he said.
Highways in other parts of New York State, including the Adirondack Northway section of Interstate 87 and New York State Route 481, have received veteran designations.
Brook-Krasny said that he introduced his bill because he was deeply troubled by statistics provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Community Planning and Development about the number of homeless veterans in New York. The city had over 3,500 homeless veterans in 2013, while the state had more than 4,600, he said.
“The main purpose of this legislation is to encourage members of the general public, as well as officials, to reflect on concerns such as homelessness and the need to extend benefits to our brave men and women. It is not right when anyone who defends the United States of America is homeless, lacks public acknowledgement, or is not given assistance which properly reflects the circumstances of their lives,” Brook-Krasny said.
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