July 30, 2009

Schumer, Gillibrand Secure Key Senate Subcommittee Approval for $800,000 for a New Transportation Facility in the City of Niagara Falls

Funding Approved by Dept. of Transportation and Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee

Today, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced that the Department of Transportation and Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Subcommittee has approved $800,000 to the City of Niagara Falls for a new transportation facility and various transportation upgrades. The funding was approved as part of the Senate Appropriation process, and has been included in the Department of Transportation and Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Bill.  The bill was passed out of subcommittee and now will need to be approved by the full Senate Appropriations Committee, after which it will be sent to the Senate floor, and then to the president for signature. Schumer and Gillibrand requested that the subcommittee include funding for this project in the bill, and fought hard to ensure that it was included.  Clearing the subcommittee is the biggest hurdle in the appropriations process.

"With millions of visitors flocking to Niagara Falls every year, it makes perfect sense to invest in these transportation upgrades," said Schumer. "This funding will facilitate more efficient and effective transportation for tourists, residents and freight and enhance safety and security at the border."  

"This is the right investment for Western New York," Senator Gillibrand said. "Upgrading our rail infrastructure will help get more cars off the road, cut emissions and improve the environment, while creating jobs and helping to rebuild the economy. I will continue working with Senator Schumer to make sure New York gets its fair share from the federal government."

The Niagara Falls International Railway Station/ Intermodal Transportation Center Project involves the construction of a new transportation facility to accommodate passenger rail and transit in the City of Niagara Falls.  This project includes railway infrastructure (track and bridge improvements) and construction of a new terminal building and all other site improvements at the Intermodal Transportation Center. The total cost of the project will be $16 million.

The railway upgrades will improve safety and maintain un-interrupted freight rail movements across the border.  The improvements entail the construction of a 1,100 ft. dedicated passenger siding north of the existing CSX main line tracks and the construction of new sidings and bridge work necessary for proper rail operations.  The new transportation center will serve as a passenger station and intermodal center with connections to bus and trolley operations.

Additionally, interior renovations to the Customhouse building will create new and improved facilities for the Department of Homeland Security.  Relocation of the facility closer to the international border and the City's Main Street core will make cross-border customs, immigration and Homeland Security operations safer and more efficient.

Now that the bill has been approved by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee, it will be sent to the full Senate Appropriations Committee. Following approval by the Full Committee and the Senate, the bill will move towards Conference with the House and then to the President for signature.