- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced a $306 billion spending plan as part of his 2021 infrastructure agenda.
- In what Cuomo called "the largest, most ambitious plan put forward by any state in the nation,” the initiative will focus on a $51 billion transit-oriented redevelopment of Manhattan's Midtown West area and the continued modernization of New York airports and transportation. It also earmarked billions for upstate New York transportation projects that will spur economic growth.
- The Midtown West projects — which Cuomo said would create 196,000 jobs — include an extension of the High Line linear park to the new $1.6 billion Moynihan Train Hall; replacement of the Port Authority Bus Terminal; a $15 billion expansion and renovation of Penn Station; 20 million square feet of retail; 1,400 new affordable housing units; a new waterfront park; and a continuation of the $1.5 billion expansion of the Jacob K. Javits Center.
Transportation projects included in the package are:
- Further investment in the new $8 billion LaGuardia Airport, where the state will build a $2 billion AirTrain pending federal approval.
- The $13 billion John F. Kennedy International Airport redevelopment.
- A $100 million renovation of upstate airports.
- Further work on the Second Avenue Subway extension.
- A continuation of the $2.6 billion expansion of the Long Island Railroad.
- Other highway and bridge projects in the upstate region.
Cuomo’s announcement won praise from the heads of organizations like the New York Building Congress and the Building Trade Employers Association.
The plan, said Carlo Scissura, president and CEO of the NYBC is “the forward-thinking investment” needed to help New York rebound from the challenges posed by the pandemic. Likewise, Lou Coletti, president and CEO of the BTEA, said that the projects included in the infrastructure initiative will “jumpstart the economy and create good middle-class jobs.”
While the Associated Builders & Contractors Empire State Chapter applauded the “green” aspects of the governor’s program, Brian Sampson, the association’s president, said in a statement that it disagrees with Cuomo’s intention to mandate prevailing wage rates and project labor agreements. Sampson said they will restrict contractor competition for the new projects and will increase overall costs.
Elsewhere in New York, the $306 billion initiative will also pay for:
- Completion of the $287 million Binghamton University health sciences campus.
- Further work at the $548 million Mohawk Valley Health System hospital in Utica.
- Completion of the $1.3 billion Long Island Belmont Park redevelopment, which includes a new 19,000-seat New York Islanders hockey arena.
- The $1.2 billion Bay Park reconstruction in Nassau County.
- The Riverway Rochester development in Rochester.
- LEGOLAND in Orange County.
- A $14 million mid-station lodge on Whiteface Mountain in Wilmington.