Information Exchange: Publications

Gowanus Expressway Rehabilitation

Author: Carlos E. Restrepo

Sector: Transportation

Publication type: Acrobat PDF

"The Gowanus Expressway in New York City is a 6.1-mile elevated highway that was built in 1941 by Robert Moses, between the Sunset Park and Red Hook neighborhoods of Brooklyn. The Gowanus Expressway connects Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Long Island, and is regarded as the major truck route for moving freight in and out of Brooklyn, and between Long Island and New Jersey (Pérez-Peña, 1996). The 3.8 mile segment between the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and the Belt Parkway is considered one of

the ten worst traffic bottlenecks in the United States. About 175,000 vehicles use the Gowanus every day, and the result is congestion for about six hours a day (Castaneda, 1996). There are plans to overhaul this structure because the infrastructure is in poor condition. The cost of the project was estimated at about $600-$700 million in the mid-1990s, when NYSDOT favored an in kind reconstruction alternative (Pérez-Peña, 1995). This alternative was widely opposed by community groups who favored an at-grade boulevard or a tunnel alternative, and viewed this as an opportunity to revitalize the surrounding neighborhoods. The estimated price of the infrastructure may now cost anywhere between $1 and $9 billion as several alternatives to rehabilitation, including a tunnel option, are being considered (NYSDOT, Summer 1999)."

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Date Created: April 2000; Date Posted: April 2006




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