Congressman Jerrold Nadler today hailed the passage of the Transportation Equity Act - A Legacy for Users (TEA-LU), which contains more than $43 million dollars for transportation and infrastructure programs in New York’s 8th District, and $100 million for the Cross Harbor Rail Tunnel, a major regional improvement.
“The State of New York, the City of New York, and the 8th District all come out winners in this bill,” Congressman Nadler said. “New York’s share includes funding for improvements up and down the 8th district, from Coney Island to Lincoln Center. I’m particularly pleased that the bill includes $100 million for the Cross Harbor Rail Freight Tunnel, which will bring critical benefits to the entire region.”
The Cross Harbor Tunnel will connect New York and the East-of-Hudson region with the nation’s rail freight system, and take as many as 1 million trucks a year off of New York streets. The tunnel will help to solve road congestion, take tremendous amounts of asthma-causing diesel fumes out of the air, lower the costs of doing business and consumer goods, and eliminate a major national security vulnerability – the fact that nearly 95 percent of all of our goods come into New York over the George Washington Bridge.
Congressman Nadler announced the $100 million in tunnel funding at an earlier press conference with Senators Clinton and Schumer.
Also included in the bill are funds for 17 projects in the 8th District:
- Hudson River Park: $5.6 million – Funding will be applied to the construction of a pedestrian walkway along Route 9A in the Clinton, Chelsea, and/or Tribeca segments of Hudson River Park.
- Coney Island Boardwalk: $2.56 million –This project will design and construct a 2.5-mile bikeway parallel to the Coney Island Boardwalk and pedestrian walkways extending out from the Boardwalk for wheelchair and stroller access to the beach from West 37th Street to the eastern end of Brightwater Avenue.
- High Line Project: $4 million – This funding will go toward the project transforming the elevated rail right-of-way and viaduct that runs from Gansevoort to 30th Street into a pedestrian walkway and public park.
- Governors Island: $3.2 million – This funding will help to make Governors Island more accessible by supporting the planning, design and/or construction of ferry facilities, roadway improvements, and esplanade development.
- New York Water Taxi Docks: $4.4 million – Funding will cover the design and installation of a network of small-scale water taxi docks in all five boroughs of New York City, including six in the 8th Congressional District.
- Battery Park City Bikeway: $1.6 million – Funding will help to connect the Hudson River Park Bikeway and the East River Esplanade, completing the long-awaited bikeway around Manhattan’s southern tip, and support significant improvements to the perimeter.
- Times and Duffy Square Improvements: $3.2 million – This project involves the design and construction of new roads, curbs, and sidewalks with ADA-compliant pedestrian ramps. Street lighting, traffic control devices and other utilities will also be evaluated and replaced/upgraded as required.
- Coney Island Intermodal Improvements: $3.2 million – Funding for feasibility study and design of ferry pier as part of the redevelopment and revitalization of Coney Island. This project would ultimately include construction of an intermodal transit-rail/vehicular/ocean ferry hub.
- Passenger Ship Terminal Access: $3.2 million – The project involves the design and implementation of pedestrian, automobile, and bicycle access to ameliorate the difficult and often dangerous conditions present during the cruise ship terminal operations.
- Lincoln Center Area Improvements: $4 million – The project will enhance transportation access and improve pedestrian safety by closing transportation entrances and exits on West 65th Street and creating new traffic patterns, resulting in reduced congestion, lower pollution levels, and increased pedestrian and vehicular safety.
- Pratt Institute Transportation Planning: $1.2 million – Funds would be used to study goods movement through the I-95 Corridor, including goods moving into and out of regional port facilities, as well as various transportation planning issues, in particular enhancing manufacturing and light industry in the area.
- West 79th Street Rotunda: $1.6 million – Funding will be used to restore and reconstruct the Rotunda in Riverside Park for public use, specifically the Rotunda structure, traffic circle and ramps, the public spaces and fountain, improve the garage and operations facilities, and create a new visitor center.
- Safe Routes to Schools Projects: $2.8 million – Design and construction of school safety improvements such as sidewalk widening, installing raised center medians, and changing street design and traffic as part of a program that will help children more safely cross the streets around 135 school locations throughout the City.
- Study of Goods Movement along I-278: $1.2 million – Funds will be used to review goods movement through the I-278 Corridor from New York City to New Jersey, including into and out of regional port facilities, including but not limited to the construction of a trans-Hudson rail freight tunnel and the revitalization of the Bay Ridge railroad corridor.
- East River Waterfront near the Brooklyn Bridge: $1.2 million – Funding for the East River Park Entrance and Greenway Extension project will support the design and construction of a greenway segment and a new entrance to the park, restoring public access to the East River waterfront and integrating it into New York City's 350-mile Greenway System.
- Public Awareness Program about Lower Manhattan Infrastructure: $400,000 – Funds will be used for public awareness program about transportation projects at Ground Zero.
- Brooklyn Children's Museum: $240,000 – Funds will be used to create comprehensive transportation plan, including construction of multi-modal facility to provide pedestrian, vehicle, and safety enhancements.
The TEA-LU bill reauthorizes federal highway, transit, highway safety and motor carrier safety programs through Fiscal Year 2009. TEA-LU provides $286.4 billion in guaranteed funding to the states for these federal surface transportation programs. The bill replaces the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) passed in 1998, which expired in September 2003, but had been extended until the successor legislation, TEA-LU, could be completed.