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NEW YORK CITY-Gov. Eliot Spitzer approved more than $43 million in funding for aviation, rail and port capital projects across New York State. This funding from the Renew and Rebuild New York Transportation Bond Act of 2005 will support infrastructure, security and economic development projects across the state.

“Moving people and goods faster and cheaper is critical to future economic growth,” says Spitzer in a prepared statement. “These investments in our critical infrastructure will help build the foundation for future and sustained job creation.”

Assembly Transportation Committee chair David Gantt notes, “these vital transportation infrastructure improvements will benefit all New Yorkers by making travel smoother and safer, and by attracting and supporting commercial activity that generates jobs for New Yorkers and brings economic vitality to our communities.”

For railways and ports, the state is investing $27 million in 15 rail and port infrastructure projects and leveraging an additional $13 million of additional funding. The funding will support track restoration, railroad bridge repairs, and expanded rail capacity. Port improvements will include wharf rehabilitation projects and upgraded port rail sites that will increase freight capacity and safety.

“New York State’s history as a leader in innovative transportation methods has been well known for decades, if not centuries,” says Senate Minority Leader Malcolm A. Smith in a release. “These grants will help our ports, railways and airports continue to change with the times, and keep New York in the forefront of the safe and rapid movement of goods and people.”

For airports, the state is investing $16.6 million in 58 aviation facility improvements and will leverage $3.5 million of additional funding. This funding will bolster security at New York’s airports with fencing, barriers lighting, and construction of police substations; support improvements at airports serving business aviation and cargo transportation; and finance general infrastructure and safety improvements, such as navigational aids and the reconstruction of taxiways.

When combined with other matching funds, the total investment in these projects is approximately $60 million. The $2.9-billion Rebuild and Renew New York Transportation Bond Act is part of the Department of Transportation’s overall five-year, $17.9-billion capital program that will fund improvements to New York’s multi-modal transportation system through 2010. Bond Act funding is still available for state fiscal years 2008-2009 and 2009-2010. The rail, aviation and port grants will translate into more modern and secure facilities and a smoother flow of goods across the state, according to New York State Department of Transportation commissioner Astrid C. Glynn.

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