City officials hate him! Discover one weird trick Gov. Cuomo is using to avoid paying for BQE fix

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The decaying Brooklyn Heights portion of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway is too crummy to qualify for state funds, city officials say.

Gov. Cuomo is using a byzantine rule that leaves him off the hook for fixing highways that don’t meet specific standards to avoid paying his share of the crumbling Promenade’s $1.7-billion reconstruction — forcing the city and Feds to clean up a mess Albany created in the first place, the city Department of Transporta­tion’s head honcho told residents at a community meeting on Wednesday night.

“It’s a horrible, crappy roadway, I wish it had never been built, I wish we had never inherited it, frankly, and I wish the state when they started the project they had stuck with it,” said Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “Unfortunat­ely my wishes have not come true.”

Albany only has to cough up money to fix a highway if it meets specific federal standards that include 12-foot lanes, a 3-foot shoulder on one side, and a 10-foot shoulder on the other. But the so-called triple cantilever bridge only has 11-foot lanes with no shoulders, city officials said.

Still, the state traditionally kicks in around a third of the cash for highway projects — and was even planning to do so for the cantilever back in years ago, before abruptly pulling its contribution along with the Feds in 2011, deeming the whole thing too costly.

Now the U.S. government is back on board — though won’t say exactly how much it is pitching in — and locals say Cuomo should do the right thing and join in.

“I think this is an absolute outrage, I feel like this really should be a state project,” said Boerum Hill resident Bill Harris. “We were dumped by the state, they picked up their tents and left in the middle of the night.”

There is another way the state can contribute — by approving legislation to allow a faster construction method called “design-build,” so a single contractor can both plan and execute the project.

Lawmakers did not pass the bill by the end of this year’s session, but Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon (D–Brooklyn Heights) said she and state Sen. Daniel Squadron (D–Brooklyn Heights) will continue to push it next year.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Mike from Williamsburg says:
Just tear it down and replace it with a picture of Cuomo's face. His car-driving base can suck it up or take a different route.
June 30, 2016, 12:53 pm
Mike from Slope says:
Agreed. Tear it down. Replace it with the building Robert Moses commandeered while destroying neighborhoods all over the city. The city is for the people who live here, not the people driving through.
July 1, 2016, 9:56 am
boof from brooklyn says:
I blame disengaged NYC democrats who blindly pulled the lever for this guy.
July 1, 2016, 10:49 am
impuzzled from flatbush says:
I regret every vote I cast for Cuomo, though I did not vote for him this last time and will never vote for him again. His disregard for needed repairs of the BQE is despicable. You folks who want it torn down: you want the traffic on the streets of Brooklyn instead? Really? Where would all the trucks go? I have a car, yes, I do but I take the subway to commute into Manhattan. I drive on weekends only. Like it or not, there are parts of Brooklyn not well served by public transportation and cars will never disappear from NYC's streets. Infrastructure must be kept in good repair or New York City will go broke paying for all the damage settlements.
July 1, 2016, 11:14 am
Sid from Boerum Hill says:
east side access for the LIRR to Grand Central so that people won't have to go to Penn Station to get to the east side will end costing north of 10 Billion dollars. So the fulton street(manhattan) station and the east side access will cost almost 15 Billion of our mostly NY City money...which comes largely from bridge tolls and MTA surcharge and Brooklyn gets the shaft.
July 1, 2016, 12:22 pm
Rob from NY says:
Gov Cuomo really is a jerk. First he adds billions of debt onto the back of the MTA instead of ponying up cash, which will mean far higher fares and declining service in the future. Now he uses a loophole to withdraw from fixing the BQE?

If NYC residents understood Cuomo's BS moves, he would be recalled.
July 1, 2016, 2:02 pm
Me from Bay Ridge says:
I really wonder what age Mike from Williamsburg is. His dreams for his life seem to be to have an affordable (i.e. subsidized) apartment and ride around on a bicycle.
July 1, 2016, 3:06 pm
Robert from Brooklyn Heights says:
What does Trottenberg know about urban planning? The cantilever was an innovative solution! It just doesn't suit the Brooklyn Bridge Park people.
July 1, 2016, 10:52 pm
Ursula from Downtown Brooklyn says:
Robert from BH: You're right, the BQE was an innovative solution to Moses' plan to lay the highway through BH, but you're wrong when you say it doesn't suit "the BBP people." The BQE has everything to do with the absence of sorely needed maintenance. Question: Did the federal regulations governing lane and shoulder width exist when the BQE and the cantilever were built?
July 2, 2016, 8:40 am
Simon says:
New regulations ... because we want to accommodate the new suburbans and humvees, we are willing to destroy existing smart, elegant design?

High Street is the equivalent to the ancient Japanese tsunami stone markers.
July 2, 2016, 9:12 am
Julia from Windsor Terrace says:
The cantilever is one of the few things Moses got right.
July 2, 2016, 9:31 am
Anne from Williamsburg says:
So some are considering the roadway be built to today's dimensions, yet the new construction it accommodates is mostly being reviewed by the DoB, under the 1968 code???
July 2, 2016, 9:37 am
Carolina from Greenpoint says:
2005 zoning, 1968 code
July 2, 2016, 9:43 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Mike, I hate to break this to you, but I feel that getting rid of the BQE altogether isn't the solution. Where exactly are the vehicles that are using it regularly supposed to go to especially the commercial vehicles, who can't use most of the local streets? Some of the avenues such as Flatbush and 4th already have a lot of traffic on them right now and removing the BQE can actually make them go from bad to worse. Let's not forget that there are neighborhoods there that have high asthma rates and alternating volumes can make those worse as well. There is a reason why you friends over at Streetsblog lost to get rid of the Sheridan Expressway over in the South Bronx. As much as your group doesn't like this highway, it's not going away anytime soon, so live with it and accept the renovations.
July 5, 2016, 5:16 pm

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