The de Blasio administration is giving up on plans to rebuild a deteriorating segment of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway — opting instead for “preservation” strategies that officials said Wednesday would keep the highway in place for another 19 years.

“Folks at DOT have come up with a variety of new strategies to extend the current life of the BQE cantilever up to 2024 and beyond,” the mayor told reporters during his morning press briefing. “We got a lot of work to do but this is the right way forward for the BQE.”

Beginning Aug. 30, the Department of Transportation will convert the BQE between Atlantic Avenue and the Brooklyn Bridge from three lanes to two, as part of a multi-pronged effort to reduce the amount of weight on the crumbling highway.

DOT also plans to “waterproof” the structure and install “weigh-in-motion” tech that will automatically penalize trucks that exceed the highway’s weight limits, the mayor said.

Traffic backs up on the Brooklyn Queens Expressway
“Preservation” strategies announced by officials would keep the highway in place for another 19 years.
REUTERS

Officials did not say how much the plan to keep the highway in place will cost.

The plan to keep the existing road comes after de Blasio gave up on his initial plan, which would have converted the Brooklyn Heights promenade into a temporary highway as the BQE cantilever was being replaced.

On Wednesday, the mayor promised to restart a community process to develop a “long-term vision” for the stretch of I-278 that stretches the length of Brooklyn and Queens.

Heavy traffic moves along the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway
The Department of Transportation will convert the BQE between Atlantic Avenue and the Brooklyn Bridge from three lanes to two.
Getty Images

He said the widespread opposition in Brooklyn Heights that squashed the initial $3 billion plan was a net-benefit for the city.

“There were imperfect realities in the solutions offered that caused people to go back to the drawing board, which is often a very healthy thing to do,” Hizzoner said.

“What’s been achieved here is to change the terms of engagement.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio
Mayor de Blasio called the “preservation” strategy “the right way forward for the BQE.”
David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

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