City Receives Over $120 Million in Grants for Queensway and BQE Projects

Image Credit: DOT.

On March 13, 2024, New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced the City’s acceptance of two federal grants worth a total of $123.6 million. The grants, “Reconnecting Communities and Neighborhoods Program” and “Neighborhood Access and Equity Program” were issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation and will be used on the Queensway project and for the Brooklyn Queens Expressway (BQE).

Around $117 million of the federal grants will go towards developing further the Queensway, a new public park built on a vacant corridor of the former LIRR Rockaway Beach Branch. The project, also known as the Forest Park Pass, will include a 1.3-mile extension of the greenway into Forest Park, new bridges, recreational amenities, and connection to existing facilities in the park. The Queensway will ultimately be 47 acres of new park space and seven miles of greenway. The project covers neighborhoods of Queens including Rego Park, Forest Hills Glendale, Forest Park, Woodhaven, Richmond Hill, and Ozone Park.

The additional $5.6 million of the federal grant money will go to the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) and will be spent on the BQE. Specifically, the money will help the city and state identify and advance proposals to reconnect communities that have been divided by the Robert Moses-era urban highway and improve access to work, services and green space for those communities. Areas of focus will be the BQE North from Kosciuszko Bridge to Sands Street and BQE South from Atlantic Avenue to Verrazano Bridge.

Mayor Adams said, “Our infrastructure should be bringing communities together, not tearing them apart, and that’s why we aggressively pursued these Reconnecting Communities grants, to reshape our city in a way that unites us. The next phase of the QueensWay will add more greenway miles, vibrant parks, and outdoor amenities to neighborhoods across Queens, and the BQE Corridor grant we won moves us closer to undoing some of the damage that Robert Moses caused and invests in beautiful, interconnected new public spaces. My thanks to President Biden and Secretary Buttigieg for establishing this transformational grant program and investing $123 million in federal grants to support our city’s growing infrastructure needs, as well as to all of our city, state, and federal partners who went to bat for New York City.”

Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi said, “These two grants represent a huge milestone for our city — creating real momentum to stitch together historically-disadvantaged communities with green space and pedestrian-friendly infrastructure. We are deeply grateful to President Biden, Secretary Buttigieg, and our federal congressional delegation, led by Majority Leader Schumer and Minority Leader Jeffries, for enabling us to invest in a greener and healthier future for our city. I want to congratulate our innovative Federal Infrastructure Task Force, which we started under the Adams administration to help our agencies collaborate to create the best possible applications for federal funding and has secured over a billion dollars in infrastructure funds. This is another massive win for New York City.”

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer said, “For many of the 2.3 million people who live in Queens, access to public parks and open space is limited, and in many cases, difficult and dangerous to access by bike or on foot. I’m proud to deliver the massive infusion of federal funds, via the Inflation Reduction Act I led to passage, that will advance the Forest Park portion of the QueensWay. The QueensWay will provide much-needed green space and a new transportation corridor within walking distance of hundreds of thousands of residents and countless small businesses in Central Queens from Forest Hills to Ozone Park. I am also proud to deliver funding for the BQE Connects project to help needy communities along the BQE, like Sunset Park and Williamsburg, to advance their vision for how to best update that roadway. BQE Connects will identify ways to improve community access and reduce environmental and economic impacts on disadvantaged communities adjacent to the BQE.”

By: Meg Beauregard (Meg is the CityLaw intern, and a New York Law School student, Class of 2024).

Mayor’s Office: “Mayor Adams Announces More Than $120 Million in Federal Grants, Secures Administration’s Largest Federal Competitive Grant” (March 13, 2024).


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