Abandonment of BQE-Gowanus rebuild produces call for toll concession P3 law in New York
By Peter Samuel
New York State DOT's abandonment of a project to rebuild the 70 year old Brooklyn Queens Expressway (BQE) and a connecting portion of the Gowanus Expressway for lack of money has produced calls to reconsider it with toll financing and public private partnerships (P3s).
Senator Fuschillo, chairman of the NY Senate's Transportation Committee issued a statement: "Abandoning these plans highlights a growing problem; current funding sources are not keeping pace with our growing infrastructure needs. We need to explore other avenues to advance projects. P3s have helped other states utilize new capital sources to repair and improve their infrastructure. With New York State continuing to face financial difficulties, this is an option which could help the state move forward with critical projects, create jobs for residents, and promote economic development."
Senator Marty Golden (R-Brooklyn) called the abandonment of the rebuild plan "totally unacceptable" and said there is an urgent need to pass legislation he and Fuschillo have written to permit P3s.
He is quoted: "Modernizing the 1.5 mile Atlantic Avenue to Sands Street stretch of the BQE is a crucial element in completing the overall BQE improvement program which began almost twenty years ago. Abandoning its rehabilitation is totally unacceptable. Enacting the legislation I am sponsoring with Senator Fuschillo would have provided a new option in funding and in all likelihood allowed this necessary project to go forward. We must learn from this failure and pass this bill immediately."
S5445 is the bill the two senators have introduced.