This afternoon, Mayor Bloomberg joined Comptroller Liu and Council Speaker Quinn to announce $1 billion of "accelerated infrastructure" development projects across the city. Intended to jump-start the city's economy and fortify infrastructure, these changes to the city's Capital Commitment Plan are projected to create around 8,000 construction jobs over the next twenty months.
The program—which doesn't spend money we don't have, but rather accelerates capital commitments to projects already in progress or ready to begin—is a modified version of a proposal put forth by Comptroller Liu back in February. “This plan will deliver a much-needed shot in the arm to our City’s economy," Liu said. "Now is the time to take advantage of low interest rates and construction costs and accelerate sorely needed construction projects," added Speaker Quinn. The Comptroller contextualized the spending in terms of international economies, saying: "Across the European periphery … austerity has failed. We are not, however, simply arguing for more spending. We are promoting smart, strategic investments that will help put our economy back on the right track."
The largest chunk of funding will go to lighting and fire-safety improvements in public schools. (Ooh, maybe we can finally get rid of all those pesky lights that leak cancer-causing chemicals onto kids!). We'll also be getting $60 million of funding for road-paving, meaning an increase from 700 to 1000 lane-miles paved per year. Additional funding will go toward bridge repair and waterfront infrastructure.
8,000 new jobs may be a boon for the city's unemployed, but Hizzoner made sure we remember that paving streets and fortifying bridges ain't Broadway. "These aren't glamorous things, these aren't the big ideas like a new engineering campus on Roosevelt Island," Bloomberg said. "This infrastructure stuff, I know it's boring … But it is what keeps this city going." And now that you've read all the way to the end of this boring post, REWARD yourself with some Comic Con pics!