Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman (D/WF) today announced that members of the Brooklyn Delegation of the New York State Legislature sent a strongly worded letter to Governor Pataki urging him to direct the NYS Department of Transportation to allocate $500,000 to fund the work of the Community Technical Advisor studying the Gowanus Expressway.
This letter comes in response to repeated requests from the Gowanus Community Stakeholder Group to use funds from the $18 million appropriated by the NYS Brooklyn Congressional Delegation through the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA 21) to continue supporting the Community Technical Advisor. Members of the State Legislature do not believe NYSDOT has complied with Congress’s directions for the appropriate use of the funding, which was allocated to cover all costs.
Millman said, “We all agree that something has to be done about the Gowanus Expressway. We also all agree that the community must have a voice in the current study NYSDOT is undertaking. The Community Technical Advisor is an essential component to giving the community that voice. The team of engineering and planning experts who constitute the Community Technical Advisory team has proven to be an invaluable asset to NYSDOT and the study as a whole.”
Assemblywoman Millman has been a key supporter and advocate for the study for a tunnel alternative to reconstructing the current, deteriorating Gowanus Expressway. The DOT has estimated repairing the expressway to cost approximately $1 billion, take a decade or longer to complete and have a lifespan of 40-50 years. By contrast, converting the roadway to a tunnel, which could be on the site of the current highway, could be completed in seven years at a cost of $3 billion and have an expected life span of 100 years or longer.