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Statement from Senator Kavanagh and Assemblymember Simon on Governor Cuomo’s Support for Legislation Needed to Streamline BQE Rehabilitation

“Design-build” procurement process would speed up BQE rehab by 2 years, keep 15,000 trucks off local roads each day, and reduce headaches for all BQE drivers

(Albany, NY) — Today, Senator Brian Kavanagh and Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon released the following statement on the announcement by the office of Governor Andrew Cuomo that he supports enacting state legislation the legislators have been seeking to authorize “design-build” contracting for the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway rehabilitation:

“For seven decades, the BQE has connected New Yorkers in Brooklyn, on Staten Island, in Queens, and across the New York metropolitan area. The planned rehabilitation of this vital part of our transportation network is essential — but also inherently difficult and disruptive. We must do everything we can to minimize the impact on Brooklyn neighborhoods and on drivers who rely on our roads to get where they need to be and to deliver the goods and services that keep New York thriving.

“The legislation we've been seeking to authorize design-build procurement for this project will reduce delays for drivers and save taxpayers’ dollars. And it will protect our neighborhoods by keeping 15,000 trucks from being diverted onto local roads each day. With a quickened project timeline, those trucks will stay where they belong — on the highway.
“We thank Governor Cuomo for his essential support for design-build for the BQE, and we look forward to working with him and with our colleagues in the Senate and the Assembly to ensure that legislation authorizing design-build for this project is enacted later this month in the final budget.”

Background:
The City Department of Transportation is currently in the planning phase of a major rehabilitation of a 1.5 mile segment of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway between Atlantic Avenue and Sands Street, and has warned that if construction is not finished by 2026 roughly 15,000 trucks will have to be redirected onto local streets each day. For a graphic of possible truck routes, click here.

Under the typical “design-bid-build” procurement method, currently required by long-standing State law, construction for the BQE would stretch until 2028. If the State amends the law to authorize the City to use the streamlined “design-build” method, the City says construction would be completed before the 2026 cutoff (for an estimated timeline, click here). This would protect Brooklyn neighborhoods from noise, congestion, and unsafe conditions, reduce delays for anyone using the BQE from Staten Island to Queens, and save taxpayers at least $100 million.

In January, a bipartisan group of 19 legislators from Staten Island and Brooklyn, led by Senator Kavanagh and Assemblymember Simon, urged the Governor to include design-build authorization in the Executive Budget proposal. And in February, Senator Kavanagh, Assemblymember Simon, City Comptroller Scott Stringer, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and other elected officials joined the DOT and DDC Commissioners, business leaders, and community members to rally for BQE design-build.

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