Timber! Billboard falls on BQE
by Shane Miller
Jan 18, 2012 | 1117 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
An illegal billboard fell from a Greenpoint roof Friday afternoon, crashing onto the westbound side of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, snarling weekend traffic and damaging buildings.

The giant lottery advertisement likely succumbed to the gusty 40-mph winds that ripped through New York City last Friday. It fell at approximately 2:30 p.m.

The sign was on top of the roof of 421 Meeker Avenue. The 20 feet by 60 feet sign was mounted on a six-story metal frame. It was technically illegal under zoning regulations because it was within 200 feet of a highway.

The tumbling sign forced two lanes of the BQE to be closed and partially collapsed the roof of the body shop it was on top of, but no one was hurt in the accident. Portions of the billboard also fell on Meeker Avenue, and damaged a nearby car, a gas line, and two other buildings, as well.

On Saturday afternoon, one lane of the expressway was still closed as crews prepared to lift the heavy base of the sign from the roadway with a large crane, backing traffic up into Queens.

Lottery officials said that if was inspecting four other lottery billboards in the city to insure their safety.

Over the years, numerous illegal billboard began appearing across the city, especially around the BQE. The Department of Buildings began cracking down on the illegal signs in 2009.

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