Marc Wouters Studios prepared one of the alternatives under consideration for replacement of the I-278 BQE Triple Cantilever. The critical traffic artery, which handles over 130,000 vehicles per day, requires replacement after decades of use. The complex site includes several historic landmarks including the Brooklyn Bridge, the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, Brooklyn Bridge Park, and extensive residential neighborhoods. In 2019 our Studio presented a four-lane option for the highway that converts the upper vehicular level into a pedestrian park, preserves portions of the historic cantilever structure, provides a way to connect a residential neighborhood to Brooklyn Bridge Park, and address Climate Change and local Health.
This proposal is being considered by NYCDOT as a possible final solution referred to as "The Stoop' alternative. Since the plan reuses portions of the existing infrastructure, it could cost $100’s of millions less than most of the options. The proposal addresses road geometry, construction phasing, historic landmarks, pedestrian and bike improvements for the area, construction scheduling, fabrication methods, bridge reframing methods, park enhancements, and more. The process required coordination with State Senators, State Assembly Members, NYC DOT leadership and staff, City Council Representatives, and the Mayor’s Office. The series of proposals by the Studio not only halted plans to demolish historic features in the vicinity, but also established more sustainable series of transportation goals for the entire BQE.
The Studio is currently working on the Teardown of elevated highway I-81 in Syracuse and creation of an urban boulevard. Permanent solutions for the BQE will incorporate pedestrian and bike connections, and innovative traffic management methods to address Climate Change and local Health issues associated with vehicle emissions, It will also include enhanced park spaces and sustainable design features. Neighborhoods are valuable, and seeing members of various neighborhoods pull together to address this issue has been a remarkable source of encouragement. NYCDOT has very forward thinking programs such as Vision Zero and we are confident that similar progressive concepts will be incorporated into this project. Mr. Wouters was awarded BHA’s Outstanding Service Award in 2020.