New York City considering 2 options to fix BQE: capped highway or tunnel

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York City leaders have released a unique proposal to fix the Brooklyn Queens Expressway.

The City Council is considering two approaches to fix the highway based on a report by an engineering and design firm: a capped highway or a tunnel.

The first option would allow developers to turn the BQE into a capped street-level highway with an extension of the Brooklyn Bridge Park going over the road.

The second option involves turning the BQE into a tunnel.

"New York cannot continue to kick the can down the road on redeveloping the BQE," Council Speaker Corey Johnson said. "This is not just about rebuilding a highway, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build the city we deserve and need in the future."

The capped highway plan would cost around $3.2 billion ,while the tunnel plan would cost as much as $11 billion.

While the tunnel bypass option would cost more, officials say it would be a more transformative project, allowing for the removal of the expressway through Cobble Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Dumbo, Fort Greene, and Clinton Hill.

Officials say that stretch of the BQE would no longer be needed, providing significant room for re-imagination, and could include dedicated transit and bicycle lanes, new parks and other public facilities

Officials with City Hall say they will look into the proposal, which was presented during the Transportation Oversight hearing.

There is no word on when a decision might be made.

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