NYC’s most critical infrastructure builds now, and for the next 100 years

The $30 billion rail Gateway Program, the multi-billion dollar Interborough Express transit project and multi-billion dollar Brooklyn-Queens Expressway redevelopment are three of the most critical New York City infrastructure projects in the next 10 years for economic growth, according to a recent report from the New York Building Congress

The report follows an analysis by the American Society of Civil Engineers that in July called New York’s infrastructure “mediocre” and said categories such as wastewater systems, roads and transit were in “poor condition.” Following the ASCE’s July report, Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y., said, “there is significant work to be done to improve our infrastructure grades across the board.”

But within the region’s infrastructure challenges lies opportunity.

The NYBC’s study identifies essential and critical projects to boost the state’s infrastructure status. The projects identified in the document, if completed, could generate trillions of dollars in annual economic output, service millions of commuters and create hundreds of thousands of jobs, NYBC said.

For example, the Gateway Program, a rail line that runs between Newark, New Jersey, and New York’s Penn Station, remains the most critical infrastructure project in the U.S., according to the report. The Portal North Bridge replacement in Secaucus, New Jersey, a component of the Gateway Program, broke ground earlier this month.

The finished project will generate over $3 trillion in annual economic output and serve 17% of the U.S. population. Work is expected to last until 2032, reports Bloomberg.

Other transit projects the report emphasizes need immediate attention include:

Long term priorities

The NYBC identified the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, electric vehicle charging infrastructure and New York City greenways as essential non-public transit infrastructure projects to complete within the next 10 years.

Over the next 10 to 25 years, the NYBC earmarked phase 3 of the Second Avenue Subway and the No. 7 train expansion as key infrastructure projects to finish. 

It also prioritized the connection between New York and Connecticut via the Long Island Sound Crossing, replacement of the Outerbridge Crossing, construction of a new bridge to connect Hunts Point in the Bronx to Rikers Island and later, LaGuardia Airport, as well as more exits on major roadways to reduce overall congestion.

In the next 25 to 50 years, NYBC called on the region to complete multiple projects throughout its subway system, including:

  • Phase 4 of the Second Avenue Subway.
  • $5 billion to $10 billion Utica Avenue Line.
  • Connection of the Staten Island Railway line to the rest of New York City’s subway system.
  • W or No. 1 train expansion into Red Hook, Brooklyn.
  • Nostrand Avenue line expansion.
  • A line access to JFK Airport.
  • N line subway access to LaGuardia Airport.

Lastly, in the next 100 years, the NYBC identified the need to construct large flood barriers, new parks, improved storm water drainage systems and tidal energy systems. A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study found the New York-New Jersey Harbor will be a high-risk area over the next 100 years for flood and storm events associated with climate change.

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