Today, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is announcing that New York should expect to receive at least $27 billion in direct funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to help revitalize New York State’s aging infrastructure. Several of Gillibrand’s hard-fought provisions were included in the package, including measures to encourage the use of local workers in infrastructure projects, increase limo safety standards, and invest in marginalized workers and communities. Gillibrand also fought to secure the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the interstate highway system and the most significant investment in public transit ever. Additionally, Gillibrand fought for a once-in-a-generation investments in airports, roads, connecting local workers to good-paying jobs, improving New York’s water and sewage systems, and making high-speed internet affordable and available in every urban, suburban, and rural community.
“I am proud to have worked alongside President Biden and my colleagues in Congress to deliver one of the boldest and most consequential infrastructure packages in our nation’s history—this package will create jobs, boost our economy, deliver funding to rebuild New York’s aging infrastructure and help rebuild underserved communities,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This once-in-a-generation investment will build a stronger, more resilient economy and lay the foundation for a brighter future.”
Highlights of NYS funding in the bipartisan infrastructure bill:
- $100 million to help provide broadband coverage across the state, reaching at least 186,754 New Yorkers. Currently, 13% of New York households do not have an internet subscription and 4% of New Yorkers live in areas where there is no broadband infrastructure. This problem particularly affects students, older adults, individuals of color, and lower-income individuals in rural and urban areas.
- $11.6 billion for federal-aid highway apportioned programs to help New York’s 7,300 miles of highway in poor condition. Since 2011, New York’s commute times have increased by 7.4% and each driver pays an average of $625 per year in costs from driving on roads in need of repair. This funding will help repair major highways like the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, which holds the weight of more than 150,000 vehicles per day and is need of upgrades.
- This includes Senator Gillibrand’s Resilient Highways Act, which will give state Departments of Transportation more flexibility with how they choose to use their National Highway Performance Program funds. States are now able to use this money for resiliency projects to make critical improvements to protect bridges, tunnels, and highways against future damage from sea-level rise, floods, wildfires and other disasters. This provision will also help shore up the nation’s infrastructure and economy by raising and relocating roads out of flood risk or slide zones, constructing new protective features like drainage structures and scour protection, and using natural infrastructure to mitigate flood risk.
- This includes $1 billion to help reconnect communities through Senator Gillibrand’s Build Local, Hire Local Program: This bill was inspired by the legacy of I-81 in Syracuse, the Inner Loop in Rochester, and the Kensington Expressway in Buffalo, all of which divided communities of color and limited their economic opportunities. This bold reform will help communities to right the wrongs of the past and prioritizes training and hiring local workers for projects that will directly impact their community.
- $9.8 billion over five years for sustainable and efficient public transportation. New Yorkers who take public transportation spend an extra 58.9% of their time commuting and non-white households are 2.5 times more likely to commute via public transportation.
- As a part of the federal-aid highway and public transportation funding, MTA will receive $10 billion to help maintain service, retain employees, and improve existing lines.
- 5,375,000 or 28% of people in New York will be eligible for the Affordability Connectivity Benefit, which will help more low-income families afford internet access.
- $1.9 billion for bridge replacement and repairs over five years to help New York’s 1,700 bridges in poor condition. The state is also eligible to compete for the $12.5 billion Bridge Investment Program and nearly $16 billion dedicated for major projects set to deliver substantial economic benefits to local communities.
- $175 million over five years to support the expansion of a statewide EV charging network. This funding will support New York’s ambitious goals of making all passenger cars zero emission models and phasing out fossil fuel-burning vehicles by 2035. As a leader in clean air and energy, New York will also have the opportunity to apply for $2.5 billion in grant funding dedicated to EV charging.
- $28 million to protect against cyberattacks. As a high-risk state, New York is already experiencing significant cyberattacks against local agencies, cities, school districts, and more that can have long-lasting economic impacts across the state. In 2019, the city of Albany experienced a ransomware cyberattack that amounted to $300,000 to recover information, replace destroyed equipment, and upgrade security infrastructure.
- $3.5 billion nationwide investment in energy cost reducing weatherization as part of existing formula-based grant programs. Families across the state will start seeing lower heating bills due to the significant increase in funding for the Weatherization Assistance Program.
- $685 million for infrastructure development for airports over five years.
- $2.6 billion over five years to improve water infrastructure, which will greatly accelerate lead pipe removal. Lead pipes affect many New York communities and contaminate drinking water with toxic levels of lead. Today, Rochester has 25,000 lead pipes and Buffalo has an estimated 100 miles of lead pipes. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will work to replace 100% of the nation’s lead pipes so that everyone can access clean drinking water, regardless of location and socioeconomic status.
- Safety provisions: Several of Senator Gillibrand’s proposed federal safety provisions were included in the bipartisan infrastructure bill. Three years after the tragic Schoharie limo accident claimed 20 lives in Upstate New York, several measures were included to increase federal limo safety standards and close deadly loopholes to get dangerous limos off roads. A portion of Senator Gillibrand’s Stop Underrides Act, which requires the creation of a rule for trucks to have strengthened rear underride guards to stop cars from sliding underneath trucks in the event of a crash, was also included. Additionally, Gillibrand’s STOP Act was included to provide funding for barriers on sidewalks and other walkways that prevent pedestrians from being targets of terror attacks using vehicles.