Leaders call on governor to allow design-build construction for BQE

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BROOKLYN HEIGHTS -

Local leaders gathered near the Brooklyn Heights Promenade Friday to demand that Gov. Andrew Cuomo allow design-build construction for the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

The thoroughfare has not had major repairs for at least 70 years and is in need of serious fixes, according to the city Department of Transportation.

"It's not falling down tomorrow, but it's very urgent," says DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg.

The DOT claims that the Atlantic Avenue to Sands Street portion of the BQE is deteriorating. By 2026, trucks won't be allowed on the roadway and will be diverted to side streets. Many residents say they don't want to see the increased traffic that would create.

To fix the BQE, the DOT and city leaders want to use design-build construction, a common process for state road projects that requires the approval of the state Senate, Assembly and Gov. Cuomo.

Local leaders on Friday called on Cuomo to include the measure in his budget amendments that are due next week.

"The Governor is the single biggest proponent of expanding design-build because it saves time and taxpayer money on major infrastructure projects," a spokesperson for Cuomo's office said in a statement. "His budget proposal includes design-build for state agencies to fund the state's capital plan, and we will have discussions with the legislature about expanding it to all local governments."

If approved, the DOT says it would like to start putting out bids in the spring.

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