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Mayor de Blasio announces new panel to evaluate plans for BQE replacement




Mayor de Blasio is pulling a Cuomo.

Hizzoner announced plans to turn to a panel of experts for better options to fix a crumbling section of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway — after initial proposals that would have closed the Brooklyn Heights Promenade were met with local outrage.

The move comes after Gov. Cuomo turned to experts for ideas on how to avoid a long-planned shutdown of the L train.

The mayor’s panel will be headed by Carlo Scissura, the president of the New York Building Congress, and includes appointees from the urban planning, engineering, construction, traffic modeling and historic preservation fields.

It will meet with community groups and local elected officials, and look at all suggested concepts — in recent weeks, many groups have put forth their own ideas for how to fix the cantilevered section of the highway without losing the green space above it.

The plan is for the group to come up with its recommendations by this summer.

“The BQE is a lifeline for Brooklyn and the entire city – which is why we are bringing in a panel of nationally renowned experts from a range of fields to vet all ideas and make sure we get this right,” de Blasio said in a statement. “We will be engaging in a transparent, collaborative process to find the best solution for one of the most critical transportation corridors in the nation.”

In addition to Scissura, the members of the new panel are Rohit Aggarwala of Sidewalk Labs, Vincent Alvarez of the New York City Central Labor Council, Kate Ascher of BuroHappold Engineering, Elizabeth Goldstein of the Municipal Art Society, Henry Gutman of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corp./Brooklyn Bridge Park, Kyle Kimball of Con Edison, Mitchell Moss of the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, Kaan Ozbay of the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, Hani Nassif, of the Rutgers School of Engineering, Benjamin Prosky of the American Institute of Architects, Denise Richardson of the General Contractors Association, Ross Sandler of New York Law School, Jay Simson of the American Council of Engineering Companies of New York, Tom Wright of the Regional Plan Association, and Kathryn Wylde of the Partnership for New York City.

“Community members and stakeholders across the city have come together to propose new ideas and call for fresh thinking on the BQE, the biggest such project the city has ever undertaken,” city Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said. “This new panel presents an important opportunity to create the best plan possible — with community voices heard throughout the process. We also thank the elected officials who have been and will doubtless remain actively engaged as we move forward.”

Read the article at the New York Daily News.

Published on

Apr 3, 2019 by New York Building Congress