Some experts are pushing government officials to use money from President Joe Biden’s recently-passed $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill to demolish the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and rebuild it to accommodate 21st century traffic. Carlo Scissura, President of the New York Building Congress, says the combination of federal cash, along with a new governor and a soon-to-be new mayor, make the timing perfect for redesigning the crumbling highway.

Built in the 1950s, the BQE is part of Interstate 278 and the Cross Bronx Expressway. Funding for the initiative to rebuild it was whittled down from an original $20 billion during negotiations in the Senate, but the U.S. Department of Transportation said it will still reconnect as many as 20 communities by removing parts of interstates and repurposing former rail lines.

“If a highway was built for the purpose of dividing a white and a Black neighborhood or if an underpass was constructed [so buses carrying] mostly Black and Puerto Rican kids to the beach… is too low for it to pass by, that obviously reflects racism that went into those design choices,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Bronx Congressmember Ritchie Torres, and city DOT Commissioner Hank Gutman rallied in Parkchester in November for the funds to be used to cap the trenched roadway that cuts through the borough. Mayor-to-be Eric Adams also said he supports improving the thruway and BQE.

Source: am New York