Daily Dirt

New York City Stimulus Transportation Projects To Fund 32,000 Jobs

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (I-NY), joined by Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Representative Carolyn B. Maloney (D-Queens/Manhattan), Representative Anthony Weiner (D-Brooklyn/Queens), Deputy Mayor Edward Skyler and Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, announced earlier this week New York City’s selections for infrastructure projects that will benefit from $261 million of federal transportation funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The first to get a makeover will be the Brooklyn Bridge. The stimulus bill will put $47.2 million into this spring’s $328 million project to repaint the Brooklyn Bridge, as well as rebuild and widen the rusting ramps leading on and off of it.

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“The requirement was, be able to get them going. We’re going to comply with the law,” Mayor Bloomberg announced while standing in front of the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge over Newtown Creek in Brooklyn, which will get a $6 million rehabilitation starting this fall.

“Our commitment to infrastructure has been the largest in City history so we have not been waiting for outside help, but the economic downturn forced reductions in the City’s ambitious construction plans,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The federal stimulus dollars mean that we can move projects that would have been on the chopping block and get shovels in the ground quickly – putting thousands of people to work and rebuilding our infrastructure.”

All told, Bloomberg said, the federal funds will jumpstart $1.1 billion worth of transportation spending and fund 32,000 jobs in all five boroughs – keeping construction workers employed even as private development freezes up.

A total of six projects will receive direct stimulus funding. The existing funding in place for those projects will be used to support 25 projects that did not have adequate funding to move forward at this time.Six Projects Receiving Direct Stimulus Funding:

Rehabilitation of Saint George Ferry Terminal Ramps

Description: The rehabilitation will address significant wear and tear on seven ramps that carry bus and passenger car traffic in and out of the terminal by providing new decks, eliminating joints where feasible, and replacing deteriorated steel. The current structure suffers from very rough riding conditions, leaking joints, poor drainage, insufficient lighting, and pigeon infestation. Replacing the ramps now will reduce the need for increasing levels of maintenance investment on the existing structure. The terminal handles more than 60,000 passengers a day using ferry service. In addition to the ferry service, the terminal also includes an MTA bus station serving 23 lines, the St. George Staten Island Railway Station, and three commuter parking lots within the project limits.
Total Project Cost: $175 million
Direct Stimulus Funding: $175 million
Pre-Stimulus Funding: $175 City Capital Funds
Funding Displaced to Other Projects: $175 million
Construction Bid date: Winter 2009
Estimated Completion: Spring 2013

Rehabilitation of the Brooklyn Bridge

Description: The ramps leading to the Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn and Manhattan will be rehabilitated and widened and the entire bridge will be repainted. The improvements to the ramps, which are in poor condition, will improve traffic conditions, particularly from the FDR Drive and the repainting will prevent steel corrosion and repairs for decades to come. More than 100,000 vehicles and 4,000 pedestrians and 2,600 bicyclists cross the Brooklyn Bridge every day.
Total Project Cost: $382 million
Direct Stimulus Funding: $47.2 million
Pre-Stimulus Funding: $382 million City Capital Funds
Funding Displaced to Other Projects: $47.2 million
Construction Bid: Spring 2009
Estimated Completion: Summer 2012

Upgrades to the Ward’s Island Pedestrian Bridge

Description: The project will improve pedestrian access to Ward’s Island from East Harlem through a complete mechanical and electrical rehabilitation, including replacing of complete tower drive machinery, providing new reinforced concrete deck, repairing concrete substructure, providing utility supports for new utilities, installing a new joint system and new drainage system, replacing rocker bearings with new elastomeric bearings, and providing a new back-up generator and new access platform for the tower bearings. The island recreational facilities are currently undergoing a $100 million upgrade and this bridge is a vital link in accessing those facilities, which include Icahn Stadium and dozens of new ball fields. The project will improve pedestrian safety and durability and extend the useful life of the existing bridge.
Total Project Cost: $14.3 million
Direct Stimulus Funding: $14.3 million
Pre-Stimulus Funding
: $14.3 City Capital Funds
Funding Displaced to Other Projects: $14.3 million
Construction Bid: Summer 2009
Estimated Completion: Winter 2012

Rehabilitation of 12 Roadway Bridges

Description: Rehabilitation of deteriorated components of 12 bridges throughout the City to extend their useful life by 10 years. Rehabilitation work will address concrete abutments, piers and columns, bearing replacements, resurfacing steel repairs and waterproofing. The following bridges will be rehabilitated:

  • East 174th St. Pedestrian Bridges North and South over the Sheridan Expressway (Bronx)
  • 15th Avenue over the Long Island Rail Road (Brooklyn)
  • 13th Avenue over the Long Island Rail Road and NYCTA (Brooklyn)
  • East Drive over East Wood Arch, Prospect Park (Brooklyn)
  • West 148th Street Pedestrian Bridge over the Amtrak Line (Manhattan)
  • West 181st Street Ramp to the George Washington Bridge (Manhattan)
  • Inwood Hill Pedestrian Bridge over the Amtrak Line (Manhattan)
  • 37th Street over the Brooklyn Queens Expressway (Queens)
  • < li>Superior Road over the Cross Island Parkway (Queens)

  • Jackie Robinson Parkway over Austin Street (Queens)
  • Albee Avenue over the Staten Island Railway (Staten Island)

Total Project Cost: $9.7 million
Direct Stimulus Funding: $9.7 million
Pre-Stimulus Funding: $9.7 million City Capital Funds
Funding Displaced to Other Projects: $9.7 million
Construction Bid: Summer 2009
Estimated Completion: Summer 2010

Replacement of Protective Coating on Two Bruckner Expressway Bridges

Description: Replacement of the protective coating on two Bruckner Expressway Bridges over the Bronx River. Lead-based paint will be replaced with a lead-free protective coating. The new coating will protect the structural steel from further corrosion, extending the useful life of the structures by 20 years.
Total Project Cost: $8.8 million
Direct Stimulus Funding: $8.8 million
Pre-Stimulus Funding: $8.8 million City Capital Funds
Funding Displaced to Other Projects: $8.8 million
Construction Bid: Summer 2009
Estimated Completion: Winter 2012

Rehabilitation of the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge over Newtown Creek (Greenpoint/Blissville)

Description: The rehabilitation of the bridge will result in reduced maintenance costs and extend the useful life of the structure by 10 years. Approximately 24,000 vehicles per day use the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge, which connects Brooklyn and Queens. The upgrades included replacing the concrete bridge deck on the movable span of the bridge, sealing roadway joints, replacing damaged steel deck supports, and milling, resurfacing and waterproofing the roadway. The rehabilitation will create a smoother and safer trip for drivers and pedestrians.
Total Project Cost: $6 million
Direct Stimulus Funding: $6 million
Pre-Stimulus Funding: $6 million City Capital Funds
Funding Displaced to Other Projects: $6 million
Construction Bid: Fall 2009
Estimated Completion: Winter 2011

“The DOT is ready to implement these critical projects, which will ensure the future economic development and growth of the City,” said Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. “The City prospers when its infrastructure is maintained and expanded. We are investing not only in industries right now through job creation, but in the roads, bridges and transportation that will keep them thriving.”

With federal stimulus dollars now paying the tab for those big projects, $261 million in city money is freed up that will now be sprinkled on 25 other road and bridge projects that had been on the drawing board but unfunded.

That means New York will now spend $30 million to rebuild the Coney Island and Rockaway boardwalks, for example, as well as an unexpected $37 million to turn the barren concrete of Long Island City’s Queens Plaza into a lush, people-friendly plaza.

“Every one of those projects is so diverse in terms of their needs,” Mayor Bloomberg added. “There’s enough work for painters and plumbers and electricians and carpenters.”

25 Projects Receiving Displaced Funding:

BRONX
Improvements to Hunts Point

Description: Improvements to facilitate the safe movement of trucks, cars, bicycles and pedestrians throughout Hunts Point and integrate the South Bronx into the regional greenway system. The project will create a greenway in Hunts Point and Port Morris to help improve air quality, encourage recreation and reduce pollution in an area plagued with high asthma and obesity rates. The project include the Lafayette Avenue streetscape, Hunts Point Landing waterfront access, creating a connection from the South Bronx to the recreational facilities at Randall’s Island, Food Center Drive transportation improvements, and new complementary greenway improvements.
Total Project Cost: $48.9 million
Displaced Funding Received: $22 million
Other Funding: $16.7 million City Capital Funds, $6.8 million State Funding, $3.4 million Federal Funding
Construction Bid: Spring 2009
Estimated Completion: Fall 2012

Reconstruction of Paulding Avenue (Bronxwood)

Description: Reconstruction of the roadway to improve the deteriorated street and curbs, installation of pedestrian ramps, sidewalks, and street lighting, and repairs to the water main and sewer utilities. The proposed work is in a densely populated residential area and the improved streetscape will increase the overall attractiveness of the avenue and nearby areas, improving residential and retail markets.
Total Project Cost: $21 million
Displaced Funding Received: $21 million
Other Funding: $0
Construction Bid: Summer 2009
Estimated Completion: Fall 2014

Reconstruction of the Claremont Parkway Bridge (Bathgate)

Description: Reconstruction to extend the life of the bridge by 40 years. The existing superstructure will be replaced with new prefabricated concrete box beams and cast in-place reinforced concrete deck slab. The substandard guard rail and picket fence railings with chain link fence will be replaced by three-rail railing and galvanized wire mesh fences behind the railings. Existing substructure will be rehabilitated, substandard vertical profile will be modified and approach roadways will be reconstructed.
Total Project Cost: $7.0 million
Displaced Funding Received: $7.0 million
Other Funding: $0
Construction Bid: Winter 2009
Estimated Completion: Summer 2012

Reconstruction of the Decatur Ave Retaining Wall (Bedford Park)

Description: Reconstruction of the 153 foot long Decatur Avenue retaining wall, located on Decatur Avenue between East 195th and East 197th Streets. The project will improve the retaining wall along Decatur Avenue, which is currently in deteriorated condition, along Decatur Avenue and will increase safety and mobility for pedestrians, bicyclists, and vehicular traffic.
Total Project Cost: $7 million
Displaced Funding Received: $7 million
Other Funding: $0 million
Construction Bid: Spring 2009
Estimated Completion: Fall 2011

Improvements to Hugh Grant Circle (Parkchester)

Description: The project will improve access to the elevated MTA number 6 Train entrance for the Parkchester/East 177th Street Station, which is situated in the middle of the rotary and requires pedestrians to cross up to four lanes of traffic to access the station. Hugh Grant Circle is located at the nexus of Metropolitan Avenue, Westchester Avenue and Virginia Avenue with the elevated number 6 train entrance above it and the Cross Bronx Expressway running below it. Approximately 4.4 million riders board at this stop annually. The project includes sidewalk expansions and enhancements to reduce crossing distances to the station and improve traffic flow in the area.
Total Project Cost: $3.5 million
Displaced
Funding Received
: $3.5 million
Other Funding: $0
Construction Bid: Fall 2009
Estimated Completion: Summer 2011

BROOKLYN
Improvements to Brooklyn Navy Yard

Description: The project will reconstruct several roadways in the Navy Yard area and upgrade water and sewer systems. Morris Avenue, Sands Street, and 2nd, 4th, 5th and 6th Streets will be reconstructed. The new roads will allow for the reopening of the historic Sands Street gate; providing more efficient pedestrian, bicycle and vehicle access to the Navy Yard, including better access to the A/C/F Trains; add much need parking; facilitate additional industrial development; and improve water conservation, storm water run-off management and landscaping.
Total Project Cost: $35.4 million
Displaced Funding Received: $4.7 million
Other Funding: $30.7 million City Capital Funds
Construction Bid: March 2009
Estimated Completion: Summer 2011

Streetscape Improvements to Flatbush Avenue (Flatbush)

Description: Streetscape improvements along Flatbush Avenue from Tillary to Hanson Place, including new street and pedestrian lights, an elevated landscaped median in the street, and new pedestrian crosswalk refuges at medians. The project also includes sewer and water main upgrades. The project will create a more pedestrian friendly atmosphere for one of Brooklyn’s major thoroughfares and support additional private development in the area.
Total Project Cost: $23 million
Displaced Funding Received: $3.5 million
Other Funding: $19.5 million City Capital Funds
Construction Bid: April, 2009
Estimated Completion: June 2011

Reconstruction of Nassau Avenue and Monitor Street (Greenpoint)

Description: Reconstruction of deteriorated roadway on Nassau Street from Bedford Avenue to Apollo Street and on Monitor Street from Greenpoint Avenue to Nassau Avenue. Improvements will be made to pavement, curbs, and sidewalks, and access will be increased to commercial establishments along Manhattan Avenue and Nassau Avenue, the MTA subway line, and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. The project will also improve drainage and reduce disruptive flooding. The improvements to this growing commercial district will make the area even more attractive and encourage more access and commercial activity in the area.
Total Project Cost: $15 million
Displaced Funding Received: $12.9 million
Other Funding: $200,000 City Capital Funds, $1.9 Federal Funding
Construction Bid: Winter 2010
Estimated Completion: Fall 2011

Reconstruction of Coney Island Boardwalk

Description: Reconstruction of crumbling portions of the deteriorated boardwalk. The current boardwalk is structurally unsound in some areas and constantly requires “band-aid” repairs or partial reconstruction. The reconstruction will be done using sustainable materials that have a lower carbon footprint, lower maintenance costs and will reduce future deterioration to unsafe conditions. Reconstruction work will take place from West 31st to West 37th Street, West 15th Street to Stillwell Avenue, and Surf Avenue / Ocean Parkway to Brighton 2nd. Maintaining a state of good repair along the boardwalk will help ensure the health of local tourism and recreation industries.
Total Project Cost: $15 million
Displaced Funding Received: $15 million
Other Funding: $0
Construction Bid: Spring 2009
Estimated Completion: Spring 2011

Reconstruction of Shore (Belt) Parkway East 8th Street Access Ramp (Bath Beach)
Description
: The reconstruction will address deficiencies and substandard features, bring the bridge into compliance with current safety standards, reduce maintenance costs, and extend the useful life of the bridge. The improvements will improve traffic flow and pedestrian and vehicular safety. The current structure is 67 years old.
Total Project Cost: $14 million
Displaced Funding Received: $14 million
Other Funding: $0
Construction Bid: 2/13/2009
Estimated Completion: Spring 2011

Reconstruction of Eastern Parkway (Prospect Heights)

Description: Reconstruction of the roadway from Washington Avenue to Grand Army Plaza to improve the street, which is currently in deteriorated condition, and improve safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and vehicular traffic. The reconstruction will reduce the frequency of future resurfacing and repair work, which can cause lane closures. The project will improve access to several cultural, recreational and educational institutions, including the Brooklyn Museum, the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, the Brooklyn Public Library, and Prospect Park.
Total Project Cost: $12 million
Displaced Funding Received: $6 million
Other Funding: $6 million City Capital Funds
Construction Bid: Fall 2009
Estimated Completion: Spring 2012

Improvements to Bedford Stuyvesant Gateway Business District

Description: A streetscape project designed to increase consumer traffic in the heavily congested area and to support the attraction of new and diverse businesses to the neighborhood. The project will construct new sidewalks – using specially designed, tinted concrete – reconstruct curbs, and add additional street light poles. The project encompasses the commercial heart of the community, including Fulton Street, from Classon Avenue to Troy/Lewis Avenue, and Nostrand Avenue from Halsey Street to Atlantic Avenue. The area contains more than 500,000 square feet of mostly street-level retail space.
Total Project Cost: $9 million
Displaced Funding Received: $7.1 million
Other Funding: $1.9 million City Capital Funds
Construction Bid: Spring 2009
Estimated Completion: Winter 2011

Replacement of Protective Coating on Steel Structure of Six Belt/Shore Parkway Bridges

Description: The project will protect structural steel in six bridges from corrosion and section loss, extending the useful life of the bridge superstructures by 20 years. In addition, the removal of lead-based paint from the structure will extend the useful life of numerous bridge components. The bridges involved are the Bay 8th Street, Cropsey Avenue, Sheepshead Bay Road, Ocean Avenue, Bedford Avenue, and 14th Street Pedestrian bridges.
Total Project Cost: $6.8 million
Displaced Funding Received: $6.8 million
Other Funding: $0
Construction Bid: Spring 2009
Estimated Completion: Fall 2011

MANHATTAN
Reconstruction of West 125th Street

Description: West 125th Street will be reconstructed to improve connections to the regional transportation network and enhance the attractiveness of the West Harlem Piers Park. The improvements include widening sidewalks, enhancing roadway alignments, installing bicycle lanes, street lights and furniture, landscaping, and lighting the number 1 train viaduc
t at West 125th Street and Broadway and the Riverside Drive viaduct at West 125th Street and 12th Avenue. A transit hub will be created on 12th Avenue, between West 125th Street and St. Claire Place, to facilitate connections between the several modes of transportation present in the area. The project area will encompass West 125th Street between Old Broadway and the Hudson River.
Total Project Cost: $32.9 million
Displaced Funding Received: $1.9 million
Other Funding: $24.8 million Federal Funds, $6.2 million City Capital Funds
Construction Bid: Spring 2010
Estimated Completion: Fall 2014

Reconstruction of East Houston Street

Description: The project will include reconstruction of the deteriorated roadway from Bowery to FDR Drive; widening of sidewalks, enlarging of medians, installation of new pavement markings and bicycle lanes from Second Avenue to FDR Drive; and creation of two new plaza areas. The project will have a significant benefit for businesses by improving the streetscape, geometry, and road condition to increase foot traffic. Additionally, the two plaza areas created by the project will attract additional pedestrians and generage economic activity in the surrounding area.
Total Project Cost: $23.5 million
Displaced Funding Received: $23.5 million
Other Funding: $0
Construction Bid: Summer 2009
Estimated Completion: Fall 2011

QUEENS
Improvements to Long Island City Queens Plaza – Phase I

Description: The improvements will rationalize the traffic network, enhance the pedestrian environment, improve streetscape elements and create a public plaza. The changes are a component of the transformation of Long Island City, which includes converting the central business district into a major boulevard with new sidewalks and landscaping along Queens Plaza North and South between Northern Boulevard/Jackson Avenue and Vernon Boulevard; continuing the bikeway between 23rd and 21st Streets; and installing new landscaping between 21st Street and the waterfront.
Total Project Cost: $60 million
Displaced Funding Received: $22 million
Other Funding: $18.3 million City Capital Funds, $19.7 million Federal Funds
Construction Bid: Summer 2009
Estimated Completion: Spring 2011

Improvements to Long Island City Queens Plaza – Phase II

Description: The project will make streetscape improvements along Queens Plaza North and South between Northern Boulevard/Jackson Avenue and Vernon Boulevard, including new sidewalks, street trees in a continuous trench with cobble and lighting, the continuation of the bikeway between 23rd and 21st Street, and new streetscape between 21st Street and the waterfront.
Total Project Cost: $75 million
Displaced Funding Received: $15 million
Other Funding: $40.3 million City Capital funds, $19.7 million Federal Funds
Construction Bid: Summer 2009
Estimated Completion: Spring 2011

Reconstruction of Rockaway Boardwalk

Description: Reconstruction of crumbling portions of the deteriorated boardwalk. The current boardwalk is structurally unsound in some areas and constantly requires “band-aid” repairs or partial reconstruction. The reconstruction will be done using sustainable materials that have a lower carbon footprint, lower maintenance costs and reduce future deterioration to unsafe conditions. Reconstruction will take place from Beach 50th to 55th Streets, Beach 77th to 81st Streets, Beach 23rd to 27th Streets, and Beach 44th to Beach 50th Street. Maintaining a state of good repair along the boardwalk will support the rapid increase in new housing and development in the Rockaways and help ensure the health of local tourism and recreation industries.
Total Project Cost: $15 million
Displaced Funding Received: $15 million
Other Funding: $0
Construction Bid: Spring 2009
Estimated Completion: Spring 2011

Reconstruction of College Point / 32nd Avenue

Description: Reconstruction of 32nd Avenue from Linden Place to College Point Boulevard and replacement of deteriorated concrete on College Point Boulevard from Fowler Avenue to the Whitestone Expressway. The project will bring 32nd Avenue up to commercial loading standards to allow for increased activity, benefiting the heavily commercial and industrial area. The roadway improvements in this vibrant commercial district will make the area even more attractive and encourage more access to and activity in the area.
Total Project Cost: $12 million
Displaced Funding Received: $12 million
Other Funding: $0
Construction Bid: Fall 2009
Estimated Completion: Fall 2011

Replacement of Hillside Avenue Sidewalk (Jamaica)

Summary: Replacement of the majority of the existing sidewalks on Hillside Avenue from the Van Wyck Expressway to 191st Street, which are in a dilapidated condition, including landscaping and replacement of existing lamp posts and any damaged curb.
Total Project Cost: $10 million
Displaced Funding Received: $10 million
Other Funding: $0
Construction Bid: Spring 2009
Estimated Completion: Fall 2010

Extension of 132nd Street / Linden Place Extension

Description: 132nd Street will be extended between Linden Place and 20th Avenue (known as the Linden Place Extension) to improve traffic conditions and accommodate anticipated traffic growth from office and industrial development at College Point Corporate Park. The improvements will resurface roadbeds and roadway pavement and install or improve curbs, sidewalks and street lighting.
Total Project Cost: $7 million
Displaced Funding Received: $7 million
Other Funding: $0
Construction Bid: Spring 2010
Estimated Completion: Winter 2014

STATEN ISLAND
Rehabilitation of 11 Staten Island Railway Bridges

Description: Replacement of the protective coating on 11 bridges running over the Staten Island Railway line. Lead-based paint will be replaced with a lead-free protective coating. The new coating will protect the structural steel from further corrosion, extending the useful life of the structures by 20 years. The protective coating will be replaced on the Page Avenue, Richmond Valley Road, Seguine Avenue, Giffords Lane, Greaves Avenue, Guyon Avenue, Beach Avenue, New Dorp Lane, Bancroft Avenue, Lincoln Avenue, and Midland Avenue bridges.
Total Project Cost: $8.2 million
Displaced Funding Received: $8.2 million
Other Funding: $0
Construction Bid: Winter 2010
Estimated Completion: Summer 2010

Completion of the St. George Ferry Terminal Retail Area

Description: Upgrading utility infrastructure and space outfitting to allow for the completion of over 20,000 square feet of retail area in the terminal, which will complete the renovation of
the St. George Ferry terminal area, serving 30,000 local residents and over 60,000 riders daily.
Total Project Cost: $6 million
Displaced Funding Received: $6 million
Other Funding: $0
Construction Bid: 3/1/2009
Estimated Completion: Fall 2009

ALL BOROUGHS
Citywide Sidewalk Repairs

Description: The project will repair sidewalks that are damaged by curbside trees in locations throughout the City. The damaged sidewalks cause inconvenience and safety concerns for property owners, who are responsible for the condition of their sidewalks. The sidewalk repairs, done at no cost to the homeowner, will maximize the strength and durability of the sidewalks, while minimizing the damage to tree roots. One-, two-, and three family homes occupied by the owner are eligible for this program.
Total Project Cost: $3.7 million
Displaced Funding Received: $3.7 million
Other Funding: $0
Construction Bid: Spring 2009
Estimated Completion: Summer 2010

A key portion of the City’s five-borough economic plan centers around making investments in neighborhoods across the City that will continue to create jobs long after construction is completed. Many of the projects chosen for stimulus funding were selected to meet that economic goal.

“We completed a careful analysis of potential projects in order to maximize job creation, so the projects we chose fit into our overall job creation strategy,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The improvements we’re making will stimulate greater economic opportunity and create more jobs once they’re completed.”

Projects that will spur economic activity after construction is completed include:

  • Completing upgrades to the St. George Ferry Terminal retail plaza. Infrastructure will be upgraded to allow for the completion of over 20,000 square feet of retail space in the terminal, which will complete the renovation of the St. George Ferry terminal, which serves 30,000 local residents and over 60,000 riders daily.
  • Creating a greenway at Hunts Point in the South Bronx, which will increase waterfront access, create a connection from the South Bronx to the recreational facilities at Randall’s Island, and improve Food Center Drive transportation access – all aiding economic growth in the area.
  • Improvements to Long Island City Queens Plaza that will convert the central business district into a major boulevard with new sidewalks and landscaping to spur foot traffic, increasing economic activity in the area.

In order to maintain accountability and transparency in the City’s use of stimulus funding, all federal stimulus funding allocated to New York City can be closely tracked at NYCStat Stimulus Tracker. Stimulus Tracker currently lists the transportation projects supported by stimulus funding, including project descriptions, a map of project locations, funding amounts, and the City agency managing each project. Funding for additional projects and programs will be tracked as it becomes available.

“New Yorkers want major investments in infrastructure, but they want to know their money is being spent wisely,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “We’ve made all City stimulus spending available online, so the public can hold City government accountable for the efficient and cost-effective use of stimulus dollars.”

The Stimulus Tracker will soon contain additional detail and interactive features, including report cards on project status, tracking reports to follow the progress of contracting and expenditures and enhanced mapping of individual project locations.

Ohio Governor Signs $7.3 Billion Transportation Budget

Ohio Governor Ted Strickland late Wednesday signed House Bill 2, the $7.3 billion biennial transportation budget for fiscal years 2010-2011 hours after it passed the Ohio House and Senate. It contains about $2 billion in federal economic stimulus money for roads projects.

“A 21st Century, sustainable transportation system will help to save and create Ohio jobs,” Strickland said.

A conference committee report on the bill was adopted in a 31-2 vote Wednesday, after eight days spent in the committee. Beyond funding the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the Ohio Department of Public Safety, House Bill 2 contains nearly $7.3 billion for transportation projects and public safety. The bill includes an additional $1.9 billion in federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act resources and $200 million for the Clean Ohio Fund which restores, protects, and connects Ohio’s important natural and urban places by preserving green space and farmland, improving outdoor recreation and by cleaning up brownfields to encourage redevelopment and revitalize communities.

Included in Recovery Act resources is the $774 million allocated to fund 149 transportation infrastructure projects which are estimated to create or retain more than 20,000 jobs throughout the state of Ohio.

According to the list of projects, 11 in the seven-county Columbus region totaling about $60 million were funded. The largest chunk was $25 million for a project to widen and improve Parsons and Livingston avenues near the Columbus campus of Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The complex is in the nascent stages of a $740 million improvement effort that includes the expansion of its main hospital. The master facilities plan is projected to add an additional 2,000 new hospital jobs and will generate $1.3 billion in new regional economic activity as the largest construction enterprise ever undertaken in central Ohio.

The Rickenbacker area, seen as the epicenter of the region’s logistics industry development effort, will get $14 million for a project to widen Rickenbacker Parkway, which provides access around the cargo airport and its intermodal center.

Other major appropriations include $5.5 million to convert Front Street to two-way traffic and $10 million to rehabilitate five bridges in Pickaway County.

The budget also will let the state seek federal funds to launch passenger rail service connecting Ohio’s major cities.

“The first step toward establishing a high-speed rail system in our state is restoring passenger rail. Ohio’s ability to compete for federal rail resources is greatly enhanced by this sensible compromise,” Strickland said.

Highlights of Strickland’s transportation budget include:

  • Provides the Department of Transportation $5.7 billion for road, bridge and highway construction and maintenance in fiscal years 2010-11.
  • Provides the Department of Public Safety $1.4 billion, including Ohio’s First Responders and the Ohio Highway Patrol, for the next biennium.
  • Provides $200 million to the Clean Ohio program, $38 million for the roadwork development program at the Ohio Department of Development, $138 million for the Public Works Commission’s Local Transportation Improvement Program.
  • Supports Ohio’s pursuit of federal funds for the restoration of passenger rail in Ohio. The budget requires a super majority of the state controlling board to approve expenditures for passenger rail capital improvements.

Recovery Act provisions in transportation budget:

  • Appropriates $1.9 billion of stimulus resources from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, including $774 million for 149 transportation projects that are expected to create or retain more than 20,000 jobs.
  • Establishes significant accountability measures for the distribution and use of Recovery Act funds by creating an independent deputy inspector general for federal stimulus.
  • Includes an emergency clause that extends unemployment compensation for Ohioans who have lost their jobs and expands their ability to receive medical coverage after being laid off through COBRA by changing Ohio law to allow the state to maximize additional federal resources.

Illinois On Track To Receive All $935 Million In Road And Highway Funding

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, speaking at a news conference with Illinois members of Congress earlier this week, said that Illinois is on track to receive its full $935 million share of road and highway funding in the Stimulus Package and is well ahead of most states when it comes to putting highway transportation dollars to work.

So far under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the U.S. Department of Transportation has approved the state’s plan to spend $629 million on 243 projects throughout the state. In all, Illinois has $935 million available for road, bridge and highway projects that support safer transportation systems, address environmental concerns, offset the erosion of the construction dollar, address the crippling levels of congestion/delay and meet the transportation demands of the future. About $5.5 million is projected to go to Tri-County Area projects.

“These recovery dollars will spur the economy by putting workers back to work in good-paying jobs and helping Illinois and the nation get back on the right track,” said LaHood, a former Republican congressman from Peoria. “You’re going to see an enormous number of people building roads and bridges, starting as soon as the weather breaks in Illinois.”

LaHood noted that the state has moved rapidly to comply with bureaucratic requirements in the stimulus package so that work can begin.

He also said there are early signs that the stimulus program may be able to pay for more road and transportation construction than planned because bids for public works projects are coming in lower than projected.

“That will enable us, I think, to have money to spend that maybe we didn’t really realize,” he said.

LaHood attributed the bids to firms’ desire to get to work.

“There’s a real pent-up demand around the country for people who have not been able to do the kind of infrastructure that they want to do,” LaHood said. “… So a lot of these firms that do this kind of work — build roads and do the construction — are coming in with fairly low bids and hopefully that will create some additional dollars and create some additional jobs.”

Greg Sitek

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