Officials release plan to extend life of BQE another 20 years

NEW YORK (WABC) -- There was a shift in gears Wednesday as the de Blasio administration seeks a fix for the 70-year-old Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

The four-part plan focuses on preserving the structure; executing immediate and ongoing maintenance; expanding monitoring and enforcement; and developing a long-term, community-based vision for the entire corridor.

Part of the latest plan calls for decreasing traffic instead of increasing capacity to extend the life of the BQE another 20 years.

Mayor Bill de Blasio also wants to get trucks off the road by enforcing capacity limits. He says much of the traffic could be diverted to trains and cargo ferries.

"We have the technology, the ideas, and the expertise to save the BQE, and we're excited to execute this plan. But that's just the start," de Blasio said. "New York City can do more than patch up a highway in need of repair - we can use this opportunity to rethink how people, goods, and services move around our city. I look forward to leading that process, and findings fresh ways to use this resource to build a long-term recovery for all of us."

NYC Transportation Commissioner Henry Gutman says there is no reason to have large vehicles making small deliveries.

"We should create intermodal distribution centers in all five boroughs where things can be off-loaded into electric carts and small electric vehicles for the last mile delivery," Gutman said.

The last major proposal for the BQE included six years of construction and a temporary road on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade.

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