Four years ago, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and construction groups were hopeful a new president, a New York native, would be eager to help fund major infrastructure projects upgrading tunnels and airports.
It was not to be. Now, New York is looking to the new administration led by President Joe Biden to fund efforts like the Gateway Tunnel project and upgrades at LaGuardia Airport among many others.
Cuomo laid out many of these priorities in his State of the State agenda for the new year as almost all will require federal assistance, not unlike the push to replace the Tappan Zee Bridge over the Hudson River.
The New York Building Congress in a memo released this week outlined its goals for funding from the federal government, including the AirTrain push at LaGuardia, the Gateway Tunnel and upgrades at the New York City Housing Authority.
“The Biden-Harris administration must act quickly and commit to providing federal support and funding to critical infrastructure projects in New York – leading to the creation of tens of thousands of jobs, supporting manufacturing and strengthening the economy. Advancing these projects will send a clear message that by getting people back to work and reviving the local and state economies, we can begin to move past the pain of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Carlo A. Scissura, the group’s president and CEO.
“Furthermore, with a comprehensive national infrastructure plan, we can fix our roads and bridges, build capacity in transportation systems, address the shortfalls in our water, energy and broadband systems and break ground on visionary construction projects across the country.”
The hope is the projects will provide a financial boost amid an economic downturn due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Gateway Tunnnel and Empire Station Complex project is expected to cost billions of dollars alone.
Upgrades, new housing and preservation at NYCHA are expected to cost $12 billion.
And in upstate New York, there is a push for help to overhaul I-81 in Syracuse and improve the Inner Loop in Rochester.