Brooklyn Heights

Pre BQE rehab, DOT searches for warehouse walls below Brooklyn Heights Promenade

Reminder that Brooklyn is built on the foundations of its industrial past

July 18, 2018 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Technicians with DOT contractor Parsons Corp. took readings with a ground-penetrating radar on Tuesday to identify historic structures underpinning the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. The survey needs to be completed before work on the upcoming $1.9 billion rehabilitation of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE) can begin. Eagle photo by Mary Frost
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Remnants of historic warehouses still exist under the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, and the Department of Transportation is working to figure out where they are before starting the upcoming $1.9 billion rehabilitation of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.


Contractors with DOT’s Division of Bridges began a ground-penetrating radar survey this week to find structures that were partly demolished to construct the BQE’s triple cantilever. One or more of the walls may be integral to the cantilever’s structure.

On Tuesday, technicians with contractor Parsons Corp. maneuvered the radar along the edge of the Promenade garden to take readings. According to the techs, the radar can penetrate roughly 10 feet under the ground. The survey will run for three weeks.

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DOT says the radar creates a geophysical image of the objects underneath the Promenade by sending radar pulses below ground. Once the data from the GPR has been analyzed, contractors will conduct soil borings to get more information about the condition of any buried structures.

Demolition of the old warehouses began in the early 1940s, and construction lasted until 1948, with the Promenade officially opening to the public by 1951, according to DOT.

Parks Department staff will be on hand during the operation to check on the condition of plants during the survey, and if any plants are damaged, they will be replaced.


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