March 14, 2012

Gillibrand Announces Final Senate Passage of Measure to Improve Funding for NYS Border Infrastructure Projects – Calls on House to Follow Suit

Transportation Bill Includes Coordinated Border Infrastructure Program Reauthorization

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced that a provision she wrote to reform the Coordinated Border Infrastructure (CBI) Program and invest in rail infrastructure at border regions has passed the full Senate as part of the Transportation Reauthorization bill.

Specifically, Senator Gillibrand’s measure would allow states to use funding to improve freight mobility across international borders, enhancing commerce at border regions. Last year, New York State accounted for 15 percent of all rail trade between the U.S. and Canada.

“From the Peace Bridge to the Thousand Islands Bridge to Rouses Point, New York State is home to some of the largest and most significant border crossings in the country,” Senator Gillibrand said. “When we invest in infrastructure upgrades at New York’s border regions, we create new construction jobs immediately, and help grow our local economies over the long term by connecting more businesses in New York to Canada. This legislation provides resources for infrastructure projects to move forward – and I encourage my colleagues in the House of Representatives to vote for this smart investment.”

The legislation extends the CBI program for an additional two years. CBI Funding is available for the following types of improvements to facilitate and expedite cross border motor vehicle and cargo movements on highways:

  • Improvements to existing transportation and supporting infrastructure;
  • Construction of highways and related safety and safety enforcement facilities related to international trade;
  • Operational improvements, including those related to electronic data interchange and use of telecommunications;
  • Modifications to regulatory procedures; and
  • International coordination of transportation planning, programming, and border operation with Canada and Mexico.

The freight title, which now includes the Gillibrand provision, provides resources to states to enhance the mobility of freight movement on the nation’s highways, as well as invests in connections to rail and port systems.  Senator Gillibrand’s measure ensures that rail improvements at border regions are eligible for investment by the State Departments of Transportation.