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NEW YORK CITY-Two of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s mega-projects on Manhattan’s East Side have already generated billions of dollars in economic activity and will generate billions more during construction, Rep. Carolyn Maloney says in a report released Tuesday. The two MTA projects–East Side Access from Long Island and the Second Avenue Subway–have generated 38,000 jobs during an economic slowdown, says Maloney.

Work on the long-delayed Second Avenue subway line has created 16,000 jobs, generated $842 million in wages to date and produced $2.87 billion in economic activity since its April 2007 groundbreaking, according to Maloney’s report. The East Side Access project has meant 22,000 jobs, nearly $1.2 billion in wages and $4 billion in economic activity. During the construction phase, the economic activity generated by the two projects combined will exceed $16.6 billion, the report says.

Maloney’s report cites a formula that for every dollar invested in infrastructure, there is a $1.59 increase in GDP. The cost for the Second Avenue Subway is currently projected to be $4.35 billion, therefore making the subway’s contribution to GDP nearly $7 billion, the report says. The cost for East Side Access is currently estimated at $7.24 billion, plus an additional $476 million for supporting regional investment costs. Based on this estimation, East Side Access will increase GDP by $12.28 billion.

“The economic benefits of these projects will continue long after construction has ended,” according to Maloney’s report. “They will provide added capacity to support the creation of employment in New York City’s central business districts and to support residential development along their routes. They will shorten commuting times and relieve intolerable congestion, particularly on the Lexington Avenue subway line and the Long Island Rail Road.”

The report notes that the $819-billion economic stimulus plan passed by the House of Representatives last week includes $1.5 billion for “new start” projects like these. “If the funding makes it into the final package, it could allay doubts that New York State will be able to complete these projects during this time of fiscal hardship,” the report states.

Maloney, whose Congressional district includes the East Side as well as part of Queens, released the report at a news conference held at Grand Central Terminal. Joining Maloney at the conference were Manhattan borough president Scott Stringer; New York City Council members Jessica Lappin and Dan Garodnick; Elliot Sander, MTA executive director and CEO; Robert Yaro, president of the Regional Plan Association; and representatives of several unions.

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