NEW YORK (FOX5NY.COM) - While many commuters are dreading the L train shutdown in 2019, the closures on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in Brooklyn could be even worse.
"We are talking about a major highway that's used by truckers to get commerce, to get supplies around the borough and through the city, to everyday New Yorkers who are trying to get to work from southern Brooklyn to northern Brooklyn," Councilman Rafael Espinal said. "So I think many people will be impacted by this."
Espinal met Fox 5 in Dumbo, where we had a view of the triple cantilever. One level carries the BQE eastbound. The other level carries the BQE westbound. The topmost level supports the Brooklyn Promenade.
Mayor Bill de Blasio just announced these crumbling structures will be repaired in 2021. That means the one-and-a-half mile stretch of the expressway from Atlantic Avenue to Sands Street will be closed until the work is complete.
We asked the city's Department of Transportation if it will release alternate route suggestions for drivers. The agency would only say that the project is still in its early stages.
"The city really has to come up with a plan that doesn't burden the everyday driver but I don't see how that's going to be possible," Espinal said. "It's going to be very difficult so I think everyone should start planning and thinking about alternative routes they can start using today, to get used to the fact that this part of the highway is going to be closed."
The triple cantilever was built in the 1940s. The mayor said the repairs are critical.
Don't worry about driving here in the meantime. The city said it is making the infrastructure's safety a top priority. The work is expected to begin in 2021 and last for several years.