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Encyclopedia > Brooklyn Queens Expressway

The Brooklyn Queens Expressway ("BQE") runs from southern Brooklyn, New York to the Grand Central Parkway in Queens, New York. It is a portion of US Interstate 278.


The highway is mainly elevated in Brooklyn, with some open-cut sections. In Queens, the highway is a mix of elevated, open-cut and at-grade sections. The BQE was built from the 1950s, and was completed in 1964 as a crowning achievement of Robert Moses, who still sparks debate today. The part that passes over the Gowanus Canal leading to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, as well as its southern extension to the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, is known as the Gowanus Expressway.


A section along the harbor in downtown Brooklyn is partially covered to create the Brooklyn Promenade.


North of downtown Brooklyn, it passes through the Williamsburg neighborhood, then crosses Newtown Creek to Queens on the Kosciuszko Bridge.


Motorists who drive the BQE know that it can be hard to find an entrance onto the elevated highway from Brooklyn side streets. Perhaps the funniest BQE sight gag was in the 1990 movie (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0100449/) Quick Change starring Bill Murray, in which Murray robs a Manhattan bank disguised as a circus clown. Murray and his cohorts escape from Manhattan in their getaway car, only to take the wrong turn from the BQE -- they find it impossible to get back on. Murray finds a sign reading "To I-278," but the arrow at the bottom of the sign rotates around, and around....




 
 

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