Looks like Brooklyn and Queens will keep desiring a streetcar for a little longer.
After two years of studying routes, digging test holes in streets and talking with consultants, the city has released an updated plan for the proposed Brooklyn-Queens Connector that will run along the East River waterfront, connecting Astoria to Gowanus.
“The BQX is one of the biggest, most ambitious projects in a generation,” the mayor said in a statement. “It will be a challenge, but New York City is taking it on.”
The revised plan details a streetcar system that is smaller, will take longer to construct and will have a higher price tag than the original proposal. There will now be twenty-six stops in the system along an 11-mile route. A planned extension down to Sunset Park has been scrapped, and the system will not pass through Dumbo due to the high-cost of construction on its aging, cobblestone streets.
Streetcars are now scheduled to start running along the waterfront in 2029, a date that’s pushed back five years from the initial projection of 2024. The price of the major infrastructure project is estimated to run $2.73 billion up from the original $2.5 billion. The city is looking for $1 billion of that money to come from the federal government.
When the streetcar is eventually running along the waterfront it will have the benefit of providing a link to mass transit for neighborhoods that are poorly served by the subway and have traditionally been transit deserts.