Traffic nightmares on local streets: BQE plans released

September 16, 2022 Mary Frost
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Repairs Will Shut Down The Crumbling Highway Nights, Three Weekends

Emergency repairs on a crumbling section of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway will mean closing most of the busy highway between Atlantic Avenue and Sands Street during three weekends and an unspecified number of nights between March and October 2023.

Traffic from the BQE, which carries more than 150,000 vehicles a day, will be rerouted along streets including Atlantic, Third, Fourth and Flatbush avenues and smaller local streets, according to a Department of Transportation slide show distributed to local community groups. The diverted traffic will include tractor-trailer trucks and other oversized commercial vehicles.

DOT is urging commuters to use alternate means of transportation if possible. Entrance ramps to the affected section of the BQE will be closed and traffic will be diverted. Traffic agents and pedestrian managers will be placed at key intersections.

These sections of the BQE will be targeted by the NYC Department of Transportation for repairs in 2023. Courtesy of DOT

DOT says it is coordinating with FDNY. NYPD and EMS; and Emergency Services will be stationed in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

These repairs are designed to shore up the deteriorated triple-cantilevered underpinning of the Brooklyn Heights Promenade until the city and state settle on a full redesign — a massive, years-long project that will require the cooperation of the city, state and federal governments.

DOT engineers told Brooklyn residents in 2017 that this section of the BQE from Sands Street to Atlantic Avenue is so decrepit it needs to be replaced before 2026, or else tens of thousands of trucks daily will be rerouted through Brooklyn’s residential streets. Next year, residents will get a taste of what that will entail.

Fixing the concrete and rebar

There are three major sites on the BQE targeted for work in 2023. These include concrete and rebar repairs of the deck, column and beam in the Clark Street Fan Plant area; the BQE deck at Grace Court; and the foundation of the Joralemon Street Garage.

The Brooklyn Heights Promenade will remain open during this work. DOT says it will be providing noise and dust mitigation.

Preparation work for each weekend segment, involving removing deteriorated concrete and adding steel plates for support, will take place at night. The BQE will remain open, but traffic will be shifted while some lanes are closed to accommodate the work.

Queens-bound traffic will be affected the most during the construction, according to DOT.

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