6 thoughts on “CityViews: To Fix the Gowanus Expressway, it’s Time to Bury it

  1. Unfortunately we can’t build projects like this in the NYC area anymore. Years of delays and massive cost overruns would be the result. Engineering issues also make this undoable. How and where would the tunnel be vented? Water table issues, etc. The NYSDOT did a decent job of rebuilding the Staten Island Expressway (I-278) to modern standards, why not the same for the Gowanus potion of I-278?

  2. About 40 years ago, I accidentally found out about the impending reconstruction of the Gowanus (I was proposing converting a section under the Gowanus for a “mini-mall” to bring people & lighting to the abandoned area – and thus “chase” away illegal dumping, prostitution and drug dealing). I went before the Council on Environmental Quality to force an EIS. At that time it was predicted to be a 3 to 5 year job at about a quarter of a billion. Through the years I have watched them repave the same areas at least 5 times! I had suggested the city do what they did with the Gowanus’ “sister” structure – the West Side Highway – turn the Gowanus into an at grade roadway with limited access and sequenced traffic signals. It could have worked – it still can work. But a tunnel is ridiculous – the simple problem is – huge bottle necks at the start of the tunnel and at the end of the tunnel. A first year traffic engineering intern can explain that. If Carl is serious about fixing this problem he should embrace it. By the way – the life expectancy of a viaduct is the shortest duration of any roadway. The Gowanus was said to have a 30 year life expectancy. They planned on the “repair” in 1990 – 50 years after if original construction (in 1940) and 30 years after the expansion in 1960. We are now entering about 28 years of “emergency” repairs (and what I deem illegal capacity additions around 18th Street) in all these years there has never been a painting contract – I was told (in response to a FOIL request) about 4 months ago – they will not paint it until they are finished. This project is a boondoggle – keep
    ing contractors employed for generations. Carl, if you are serious about fixing this mess, join me in pushing for an at-grade roadway – the example is there in Manhattan and proven to work.

  3. I am DEFINITELY of the same opinion as expressed above. Why not modernize the expressway instead of burying it? At this point in the massive and illustrius history of the area in question WHY would anyone think to “bury” the expressway – which provides a vital, unimpeded(minus traffic) and expedient route from the VB half way around Bklyn.

  4. Pingback: Today’s Headlines – Streetsblog New York City

  5. The Gowanus/BQE is an enormous exhaust pipe that runs the length of Brooklyn and spews toxic dust on our citizens. Burying it in a tunnel could manage some of that pollution and quiet the roar of diesel power on our eardrums. It is easily affordable should the politicians agree to toll the resulting highway. Since the Brooklyn Heights portion is slated to be rebuilt soon it would be a good time to end the one-way tolling of the Verrezzano Bridge, eliminate the perverse incentive for freight traffic to choke Brooklyn and Staten Island with enormous traffic jams and smooth out the commutes for half a million people.
    Yet, the free, simple exercise of establishing a two way toll as all other TBTA bridges have is beyond the vision of our politicians and civic leaders. They choke on it being “Federal Legislation” shrug their shoulders and pretend it does not make a bad problem (traffic) worse.

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