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Brooklyn Heights Residents Push Back On BQE Repair Plan That Would Shut The Promenade

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - There's no argument that the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway needs extensive work due to decades of wear and tear.

But how that work gets done has become quite the battle, especially considering one plan would close the popular Brooklyn Heights promenade.

There are two options from the city's Department of Transportation to repair a 1.5 mile stretch of the BQE. One creates a temporary elevated roadway, closed the promenade for three years and turns it into a temporary six-lane highway. Another option would repair the highway lane by lane. That would take eight years and snarl traffic, but the promenade would remain open.

Peter Bray is a critic of both plans. He's the executive director of the Brooklyn Heights Association.

"We think that both of those plans should be removed from consideration," Bray said. "We think we have an alternative that is superior to the two plans the DOT has advanced. And it would involve putting a temporary, parallel highway, two tiers, into the very eastern edge of Brooklyn Bridge Park so it would run parallel to the BQE."

Bray said it would move the road from the neighborhood to a part of the park that has no active recreational uses, just parking lots and dirt berms. Bray said such a project would be quicker to construct and would give the DOT the added benefit of unfettered access to the part of the BQE in need of repair.

Bray says they've not seen a direct response to their plan, which the submitted in November.

"The city and DOT are thoroughly engaged with the community to ensure the BQE reconstruction is as transparent as possible, and any claim to the contrary is demonstrably false," the DOT said in a statement. "We are committed to partnering with elected officials, community leaders and all local stakeholders on the entire project corridor to hear their input and prioritize their safety."

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