February 02, 2021

Gillibrand Applauds Confirmation Of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg; Commits To Working With Administration To Invest In New York State Infrastructure, Build Gateway, And Reimagine Highways

Gillibrand Has Been Vocal Advocate Of Innovative Projects To Tear Down And Replace Highways To Reconnect Communities

Following the Senate’s confirmation of U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand released the following statement: 

“I know that Secretary Buttigieg’s experiences revitalizing South Bend position him to be a strong ally for New York’s communities. Working alongside the Biden administration, we have the opportunity to make significant investment in our aging infrastructure and support innovative local projects that reconnect communities, put local residents to work, and address the legacy of systemic racism in our highway system.  

When I spoke with Secretary Buttigieg, I invited him to visit critical Upstate New York infrastructure projects. He understood the importance of federal funding and support for projects like the I-81 community grid, Rochester Inner Loop, Kensington Expressway in Buffalo, and reimagining I-787 in Albany. These projects can rebuild our state’s economy by investing federal dollars in local infrastructure and supporting local workers, as proposed by my Build Local, Hire Local Act. Furthermore, Secretary Buttigieg has committed to breaking the logjam created by the Trump administration that has held back the Gateway program’s Hudson Tunnel project, and I am confident he will prioritize investing in the revitalization of our public transit systems. I congratulate Secretary Buttigieg on his historic confirmation and I look forward to working with him to prioritize New York’s needs.” 

Background: 

  • Senator Gillibrand has been a vocal advocate of innovative projects to tear down and replace highways to reconnect communities. 
  • Gillibrand was the first federal elected official to become actively involved in Syracuse’s I-81 issue and endorsed the community grid replacement option in 2018. 
  • Gillibrand’s conversations with local leaders in Syracuse prompted her introduction of the Build Local, Hire Local Act of 2019
  • Gillibrand is in conversation with community stakeholders in Albany to support the exploration of reimagining I-787 to give Albany access to the Hudson River waterfront.
  • Gillibrand’s support helped deliver the TIGER grant awarded by the US Department of Transportation to fund the Rochester Inner Loop East reconstruction project, and she continues to work with community leaders on efforts to finish the project.
  • Senator Gillibrand is advocating for several projects in Western New York, including extending the metro rail and reimagining the Kensington Expressway.