The Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE) is a 16-mile (26 km) freeway that runs from the Gowanus Expressway in Brooklyn to the Grand Central Parkway in Queens, New York City. The history of the BQE dates back to the early 20th century when plans for a network of highways and bridges connecting the five boroughs of New York City were first proposed.
In 1939, construction of the BQE began as part of a massive public works project known as the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The WPA was a federal agency established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to create jobs and stimulate the economy during the Great Depression. The BQE was one of many infrastructure projects undertaken by the WPA during this time.
The BQE was designed to provide a high-speed route for trucks and other commercial vehicles, as well as to relieve traffic congestion on local streets. The freeway was built on an elevated structure, which allowed it to pass over existing buildings and infrastructure without disrupting local traffic.
The construction of the BQE was not without controversy, however. Many residents and community groups opposed the project, arguing that it would destroy neighborhoods and displace thousands of families. Despite these objections, the BQE was completed in stages over the next several decades, with the final section opening in 1964.
Since its completion, the BQE has become a vital artery for transportation in New York City, serving millions of vehicles each year. However, the freeway has also been the subject of ongoing debate over its safety and structural integrity. In recent years, concerns have been raised about the deteriorating condition of the BQE and the need for major repairs or even a complete reconstruction of the roadway.
- The BQE was originally named the Brooklyn-Queens Connecting Highway.
- The BQE was constructed in several phases over the course of several decades, with the final section opening in 1964.
- The BQE was built on an elevated structure, which allowed it to pass over existing buildings and infrastructure without disrupting local traffic.
- The construction of the BQE required the demolition of many homes and businesses, which led to opposition from local residents and community groups.
- The BQE is a major artery for transportation in New York City, serving millions of vehicles each year.
- The BQE has been the subject of ongoing debate over its safety and structural integrity, with concerns raised about the need for major repairs or even a complete reconstruction of the roadway.
- The BQE has been featured in many films and TV shows, including "The French Connection," "The Sopranos," and "Blue Bloods."
- The BQE was the site of a major accident in 1953, when a tanker truck carrying thousands of gallons of gasoline exploded, killing six people and causing significant damage to the roadway and surrounding area.
- The BQE was designated as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2000.
- The BQE is known for its sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the East River.
- The BQE was designed by master planner Robert Moses, who was responsible for many of the major infrastructure projects in New York City during the mid-20th century, including the Triborough Bridge and the Cross Bronx Expressway.
- The BQE was originally planned to be a part of a larger network of highways that would have crisscrossed New York City, but many of these projects were ultimately abandoned due to community opposition and budgetary constraints.
- The BQE was built at a cost of approximately $137 million, which was a significant sum of money at the time.
- The BQE has been the site of many protests and demonstrations over the years, including a major protest in 1967 against the Vietnam War that shut down the freeway for several hours.
- In 1973, a section of the BQE collapsed due to structural defects, causing significant traffic delays and raising concerns about the safety of the roadway.
- The BQE was briefly closed in the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks, due to concerns about the structural integrity of the nearby Brooklyn Battery Tunnel.
- In recent years, there have been several proposals to reconfigure or even remove the BQE, in order to address the roadway's safety and structural issues and to create more open space in the surrounding neighborhoods.
- The BQE has been the subject of many works of art and literature over the years, including the novel "The Fortress of Solitude" by Jonathan Lethem and the paintings of artist Stephen Antonakos.
- The BQE is known for its unique design, which includes sweeping curves and long, uninterrupted stretches of roadway.
- The BQE remains an important part of New York City's transportation infrastructure, providing a vital link between Brooklyn and Queens and facilitating the movement of goods and people throughout the region.
Staten Island Expressway
The Staten Island Expressway (SIE) is a 5.5-mile (8.9 km) highway that runs from the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge to the Goethals Bridge on Staten Island, New York City. Here's a brief history of the SIE:
- The Staten Island Expressway was first proposed in the 1940s as part of a larger plan to develop Staten Island's transportation infrastructure.
- Construction of the SIE began in 1959 and was completed in 1964. The total cost of the project was approximately $70 million.
- The SIE was designed to provide a high-speed route for commuters traveling between Staten Island and New Jersey, as well as to relieve traffic congestion on local streets.
- The SIE was originally planned to be a six-lane highway, but was ultimately built with four lanes due to budgetary constraints.
- The construction of the SIE required the demolition of many homes and businesses, which led to opposition from local residents and community groups.
- The SIE was the first highway in New York City to use "collector-distributor" lanes, which are separate lanes that allow vehicles to exit and enter the highway without disrupting the flow of traffic.
- In the 1980s and 1990s, the SIE underwent a series of major renovations and expansions to address issues with traffic flow and safety.
- In 2006, a section of the SIE was renamed in honor of former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who was instrumental in securing federal funding for the highway's expansion.
- The SIE has been the site of many accidents over the years, including a major pileup in 1996 that involved more than 100 vehicles and resulted in several fatalities.
- In recent years, there have been proposals to expand the SIE even further, in order to better accommodate the growing population of Staten Island and improve connectivity between the island and the rest of New York City.
Brooklyn-Queens Expressway Geography
The Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE) is a major highway that runs along the waterfront of Brooklyn and Queens in New York City. Here's some information about the geography of the BQE:
- The BQE runs for approximately 11 miles (18 kilometers) from the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn to the Grand Central Parkway in Queens.
- The BQE runs along the East River waterfront, providing sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Williamsburg Bridge.
- The BQE intersects with several other major highways and thoroughfares, including the Long Island Expressway (LIE), the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, and the Manhattan Bridge.
- The BQE passes through several neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens, including Red Hook, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Williamsburg, and Long Island City.
- The BQE runs through a heavily industrialized area, with many warehouses, factories, and other commercial properties located along the roadway.
- The BQE is elevated for much of its length, with sections of the roadway passing over existing buildings and infrastructure.
- The BQE is heavily trafficked, with an average of over 150,000 vehicles per day traveling on the roadway.
- The BQE is situated in a low-lying area that is vulnerable to flooding and other environmental hazards.
- The BQE is surrounded by several parks and recreational areas, including Brooklyn Bridge Park, the Newtown Creek Nature Walk, and the Pulaski Bridge Bike Path.
- The BQE is a vital transportation artery for New York City, connecting Brooklyn and Queens to the rest of the city and facilitating the movement of goods and people throughout the region.
New York City Hot Spots
New York is home to world famous luxurious restaurants and bars. Visits to New York won’t be complete without having a taste of food and delicacies that bars and restaurants offer. Two of the famous bars and restaurants in this city are the Hard Rock Café International and The Four Seasons. Hard Rock Café International serves burgers, fries, and salads. American rock memorabilia are seen around the restaurant and souvenir shirts are also sold. The Four Seasons, on the other hand, serves fine American cuisine; although, advanced reservations for this restaurant are highly recommended.
Every street in New York has bars and pubs that cater to different kinds of crowds. Some bars cater to young business people and some to students. One of the famous bars in New York is The West End or the West End Gate. This bar is where Columbia University undergraduates usually gather. It also served as a meeting place for different writers and student activists back in the 1960s. The West End closed in April 2006 and was replaced by Havana Central at the West End during the latter part of that same year.
New York is also home to a lot of shopping centers. It is believed to be a reliable place to buy goods. It offers a wide variety of stores that sell merchandise in every price range from the latest designer fashions to bargain clothing. They also sell cosmetics, appliances, and household goods. Most department stores usually hold end-of-season sales on seasonal items with significantly reduced price.
The most famous shopping center in New York is Macy’s. Located in Herald Square near the Empire State Building, Macy’s is the largest department store in New York. This center is considered more as a shopping empire than a retailer. It has nine floors of merchandise and is a favorite shopping destination for a lot of people.
Madison Avenue is recognized worldwide as the center for fashion retailing. It is also where new trends in fashion originate while Bergdorf Goodman is known for its designer clothing and upscale merchandise. Meanwhile, Century 21, located near the famous twin towers, offers bargained price merchandise.
Another famous mall in New York is the Fulton Mall. It is a pedestrian street mall found in Brooklyn. It is home to over 230 stores and has more customers than the famous Madison Avenue. However, only buses, commercial vehicles, local truck deliveries, and emergency vehicles are allowed on the street.
Another important element of tourism industry in New York is the hotel. The most famous hotels in this city are the Plaza Hotel and Waldorf-Astoria. Plaza Hotel is a 19-storey luxury hotel located at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Central Park South in Manhattan. This hotel was opened to public in 1907 and is the only hotel in NYC designated as a National Historic Landmark. Waldorf-Astoria, on the other hand, was officially proclaimed as New York City landmark in 1993. This hotel is synonymous with elegance and grandeur and is home to luxurious boutiques with three restaurants and four lounges. This hotel is located on Park Avenue where famous New York City attractions like Times Square and Rockefeller Center are found.