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City: Ditch fix is on the way

The Brooklyn Paper
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The fix is in for the ditch.

A top city planner has drawn up a new plan to build homes atop the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway ditch that has cut off the Red Hook waterfront from Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens since the 1950s.

“The question is not to whether to build, but how much to build,” the consulting team of Alex Garvin and Associates said in a statement.

Residents have long begged the city to build a platform over the sunken roadway that bisects Hicks Street between Woodhull and Kane streets. Two decades ago, a plan to do just that died when engineers discovered that decking over the stinky expressway would create new air pollution.

“We didn’t have the air-scrubbing technologies then,” said Craig Hammerman, district manager for Community Board 6.

But the Garvin and Associates idea could move forward as part of a Bloomberg Administration effort to plan for the one million more New Yorkers who are expected to be living here by 2030.

Garvin’s team — which also worked on the city’s failed 2012 Olympic bid — laid out three development plans ranging from a 200 rowhouse subdivision to a denser nabe of 12-story buildings containing 1,500 new units.

Residents loved the sound of that — or anything that could heal the neighborhood’s rumbling gash.

“I want to see it covered,” said longtime resident Anthony Valente.

In addition to covering the BQE, the planner recommended building atop the Prospect Expressway in the South Slope and over a vacant freight yard in Bay Ridge.

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