Local Lawmakers Raise Concern with Postponement of BQE Repair Funding by Mayor Adams
While the Brooklyn Queens Expressway keeps on deteriorating, NYC is seeking to extend the lifespan of the highway by doing repairs and reducing weight on the triple-layer roadway by banning heavy-weight trucks from using the expressway, and narrowing the lanes to two. At the same time, NYC has dedicated over $1.5 billion to repair the failed roadway by 2031, but is proposing to cut nearly $200 million from the budget for this year’s repair, reports amny.com.
The proposed cut, presented to city lawmakers by the DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez, has received pushback from local lawmakers.
Councilman Lincoln Restler, whose district includes parts of the expressway, said he is “disappointed and concerned about the safety of our community, about our ability to preserve the lifespan of the triple-cantilever for these 20 years, so that a bolder, more transformative solution can take place.”
The city proposed to cut $180.5 million, from the overall $225.1 million that was set to be spent in 2023, that leaves just $44.6 million to fund much-needed repairs for the roadway.
“The dramatic reductions in funding by upwards of $180 million that should have been spent this year… is of grave concern and, frankly, is indicative of the lack of urgency the DOT is placing on making the necessary repairs at this location,” Restler said at a council hearing.
While the city said the funding can still be shifted back in, if needed, Commissioner said the proposed cut is ok as “there is no issue related to safety. None of this decision to move money puts anything at risk.”