Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday that he’ll take a serious look at an alternative plan for the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway repair project — one that wouldn’t shut the popular Brooklyn Heights Promenade for six years.
During his weekly appearance on WNYC radio, de Blasio said a plan being pushed by Councilman Stephen Levin that would keep the promenade open is worth considering.
Levin’s idea is to divert traffic from a 1.5-mile stretch of the BQE to a road running parallel to Brooklyn Bridge Park instead of constructing a new highway over the promenade while the heavily used highway is repaired.
“It’s a different idea that’s come up in recent days and, of course, it has to be fully evaluated,” said de Blasio. “I am first to say a lot of times that government has good ideas, and there are lots of other times when someone at the community level or other experts come up forward with another alternative that might work, so we will definitely look at that.”
The mayor made the commitment when a caller to the radio show made an impassioned plea to consider the alternative.
“I think the option has a lot of positives in that it’s much simpler from an engineering perspective,” said the caller. “It’s likely going to be safer and faster to complete and much cheaper than building a six-lane roadway up in the air.“
Under the city’s current $3 billion plan, a temporary six-lane roadway would be built atop the popular promenade.
Another alternative would rebuild the highway lane by lane, which would take eight years.