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Feds Deny NYC's Grant Application For BQE Reconstruction

Lara Birnback, executive director of the Brooklyn Heights Association, speculated that the application may have been rejected because of community objection.
Idea of ‘Tearing Down the BQE’ Gets Fresh Look as Feds Open Their Wallets
The city has been trying to figure out how to fix the crumbling Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in Brooklyn Heights for years.

The federal government denied New York City's applications for $800 million in infrastructure grants to revamp the triple cantilever section of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, despite the deteriorating structure.

According to amNY, President Joe Biden's administration rejected the application brought by the Department of Transportation (DOT), possibly thwarting Mayor Eric Adams' plans to redesign and rebuild the structure.

The publication reported that the Adams administration had proposed a complete rebuilding or partial revamp of the structure, in a project estimated to cost $5.5 billion. The proposal was unclear about whether the rebuilding would include the expansion of the cantilever, which some groups opposed due to climate change concerns. 

The structure was deemed unsafe to use as soon as 2026, according to a panel of experts convened by former mayor Bill de Blasio. 

One of the critics, Lara Birnback, executive director of the Brooklyn Heights Association, said: "What we have been objecting to all along is the fact that what they’re imagining for BQE Central is basically a highway expansion project. We believe in the middle of a climate crisis when the city and state have set some pretty great targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, this kind of flies in the face of that," she said.