Thursday, January 5, 2012
BQE's perpetual construction
From the NY Times:
New York City has plenty of aging, rage-inducing roadways, as drivers who have spent time on the Cross Bronx Expressway can attest. With its multitude of trucks and dangerous on-ramps, the B.Q.E. is a den of congestion at virtually all hours of the day.
But one factor has condemned this antiquated 16.8-mile stretch of highway to a place of longstanding infamy in the New York metropolitan area, if not all of urban America: construction that never seems to end.
As Gerry Michalowski, a truck driver who has traveled the B.Q.E. since 1978, put it, “It was under construction then, and it’s still under construction now.”
The first section of the road, which included the Kosciuszko Bridge, opened in 1939. After the 1950s, as most sections of the roadway were completed, Robert Moses, New York’s master builder, hailed the highway as part of a grand plan to solve the “problem of express travel.”
Repairs began in 1960, well before the road was officially finished in 1970. Today, the infernal color orange — seen on barrels, cones, “Work Ahead” warnings — is a permanent feature of the deteriorating landscape.