Statement from Senator Kavanagh on the Authorization of Streamlined “Design-Build” Process for the BQE Rehab in the State Budget

(Albany, NY) -- Today, the New York State Senate passed S7509C, a bill that enacts major components of the 2018-2019 state budget, and authorizes New York City to use the streamlined “design-build” process on the pending Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE) rehabilitation. This will shave two years off the project’s timeline, save the City at least $100 million, and keep trucks from being redirected on to local streets -- easing headaches for drivers throughout the region.

Senator Kavanagh and his partners in government made including design-build authorization in the budget a priority. Earlier this year, 19 legislators, including both Republicans and Democrats, from Staten Island and Brooklyn announced support for design-build. In February, Senator Kavanagh and Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon joined City Comptroller Scott Stringer, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Senator Velmanette Montgomery, Assemblymember Robert Carroll, Council Members Ydanis Rodriguez and Mark Treyger, City DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, Acting City DDC Commissioner Ana Barrio, business leaders, community leaders, and union representatives to rally in support of design-build for the BQE.

In response to this major victory for Brooklyn and the region, Senator Brian Kavanagh released the following statement:

“This is a major victory for Brooklynites, Staten Islanders, and anyone who drives on the BQE. It’s an example of government stepping up to protect New Yorkers, and keep our communities safe.

“The Brooklyn-Queens Expressway is a major artery undergoing extensive repairs, which we know will lead to real disruptions for our community. We must do everything we can to ensure that while we’re rebuilding the BQE, we aren’t destroying our neighborhoods in the process. By authorizing design-build, we took a huge step forward to do just that.

“Design-build ensures trucks are kept off local roads and stay on highways, where they belong. It saves taxpayers at least $100 million. And it helps ease headaches for drivers across the region.

“I’d like to thank the many New Yorkers who rallied for design-build, and I’d like to especially acknowledge Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon, whose partnership helped ensure this streamlined process was authorized in the budget, and Senator Martin Golden, who helped make sure design-build was a priority in the Senate.

“Design-build is not a cure-all, but it is a major step forward. I will continue to work with my partners in government and local leaders in Brooklyn to mitigate the impacts of the BQE reconstruction and ensure the BQE repair stays on track.”

About Design-Build and the BQE:

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 up to 16,000 trucks will have to be redirected onto local streets each day. Under the traditional design-bid-build process, however, the City estimates the project will be completed in 2028.

With design-build the City predicts construction would be completed before the 2026 cutoff -- protecting Brooklyn neighborhoods from noise, congestion, and unsafe conditions, reducing delays for anyone using the BQE from Staten Island to Queens, and saving taxpayers at least $100 million. For a projected timeline, click here.