Brooklyn Boro

Alt BQE plan will not block Brooklyn Bridge view after all, says DOT

February 20, 2019 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
An alternate BQE bypass plan sponsored by the Brooklyn Heights Association would not cross over the Brooklyn Bridge pedestrian path, but under it. Map courtesy of Marc Wouters Studios

The NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) admitted on Tuesday that the agency goofed when it said the Brooklyn Heights Association’s plan for a temporary Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE) bypass would travel over the Brooklyn Bridge pedestrian walkway.

A DOT spokesperson said that with multiple BQE proposals out there, there was a miscommunication about the alternate route proposed by the neighborhood association.

The spokesperson said DOT understood the need for a retraction.

The brouhaha started when another Brooklyn Heights civic group, A Better Way NYC, released a rendering showing that the city’s preferred BQE bypass would cross over the pedestrian path on the Brooklyn Bridge.

A Better Way’s rendering showed the unsightly overpass blocking such landmarks as 1 World Trade Center and the bridge’s western suspension tower.

The city’s controversial plan for a temporary Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE) bypass would cross over the pedestrian path on the Brooklyn Bridge, as this rendering for A Better Way NYC illustrates. Rendering courtesy of A Better Way NYC
The city’s controversial plan for a temporary Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE) bypass would cross over the pedestrian path on the Brooklyn Bridge, as this rendering for A Better Way NYC illustrates. Rendering courtesy of A Better Way NYC

DOT muddied the waters by claiming that the alternate plan proposed by the Brooklyn Heights Association would also pass above the pedestrian path.

The Brooklyn Heights Association demanded a retraction.

“Our concept does not involve a temporary structure passing over the bridge,” Peter Bray, BHA’s executive director told the Brooklyn Eagle. “The BHA’s rendering in the article clearly points out that the overpass structure shown is ‘DOT’s proposed exit ramp.’”

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He added, “Our concept merges the parallel bypass structure between Columbia Heights and the Brooklyn Bridge into the existing BQE to enable vehicles to pass under the bridge, not over it.”

The designer of BHA’s alternate plan, Marc Wouters, confirms that BHA’s plan won’t mess with the views along the Brooklyn Bridge walkway.

“Our plan keeps the roadway under the Brooklyn Bridge,” he told the Heights Press on Tuesday.

The main problem, as most readers know by now, is that the city’s $3.4 billion BQE reconstruction plan would also construct a temporary six-lane highway on top of the landmarked Brooklyn Heights Promenade.

DOT said that both their plan and BHA’s plan “can serve as a basis of the informed discussion that will take place as part of the environmental review process, in which we will review a range of concepts.”

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